Just below this mid-slope location is where six firefighters lost their lives while trying to escape from the fire sweeping through the Bonita Creek Estates and traveling downhill. The Estates was a principle staging area/helitack zone.
More than two decades later, this once beautiful land of ponderosa pine trees has now reverted to scrub oak, alligator juniper, manzanita and again in danger of yet another big wildfire. Bonita Creek, once covered in pristine forest, now sits in even more flammable materials.
This photo is what that "forest" presently looks like now within the Dude Fire boundary. In addition to property loss and loss of life, this forestland will take a century to recover and fulfill it's commercial and recreational potential.