And Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises… and the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how. Mark 4: 26-27
40,000 acres. That was the destruction of the Ute Park Fire last summer at Philmont. Much of the southwest section of the Ranch was destroyed. Old camps which haven’t been used for years have been restored, itineraries redirected out of the burn area and life continues.
from Philmont’s website:
The Ute Park Fire was a high severity fire. Most of it was a Crown Fire, meaning the fire spread from tree top to tree top. This type of fire behavior typically burns at a higher intensity, and usually results the loss of vegetation and can sterilize the soil. The loss of vegetation in combination with steep slopes and highly erodible soil increased the overall impacts that the fire had. Recovery from these types of fires can take decades.
The wonder of a Crown Fire is that undergrowth is still able to send life from the roots and seeds buried deep in the soil. It is somewhat horrific to drive up our roads to existing camps and see the charred skeletons of trees all along a side of a mountain. In some of my favorite spots, like Cathedral Rock.
And yet, as you are driving on one mountain-side, you look across at the neighboring rise and in that distance you can see the blackened effects. And yet again, it’s sometimes difficult to realize the destruction because there is vibrant green undergrowth with the rain we’ve had. This doesn’t happen with all wildfires, some of which destroy the ground beneath.
I’ve driven the past two weeks through the destruction area. There are red flowers, and yellow and white. I recognize the blueish-purple heads of thistle. There are sunflowers (miniature to those we think of), daisies and many I can’t name.
It is truly a miracle of God’s restorative and creative rebirth of Creation. The seeds sprout and grow, we knows not how. Yes, we do. It is God at work.