Rowena Fire 2014 UPDATED

UPDATE Aug 9:  The fire was listed as 55 % contained this morning, with 3,565 acres total.  I believe that 3 houses burned and my thought and prayers are with the families, but grateful no lives were lost.  3 other structures burned as well.  All evacuations were dropped to Level 1 and people could return to their homes with caution.  Mopping up and burn outs continue and lets hope that wind does not kick back up hard!  So far so good.  I am adding a small collection of images to the first gallery showing what I could see Friday evening.  Some of these fire images have been shown on news like KGW, and I was contacted by CBS in New York about using an image for their coverage of this fire. I am so appreciative of our Firefighter heros that worked so hard in such dangerous condiitions!  Also,  for those who are so broken hearted about the destruction of nature… I have watched several areas now recover following fire and wildflowers will come back better than ever.  Many of the trees have not been killed, just charred on the edges, and will recover.  Dead falls have been cleaned up which will help with pest problems and future fire hazard.  Poison Oak and Ticks might even get slowed down briefly!  Animals and birds for the most part will have moved out of range of fire, and new grass will grow in better than before providing improved grazing for deer and elk.  You will be amazed in a year or three how quickly many things will return.

Original Post:   Rowena Fire started in the switchbacks along Historic Highway 30 just to the East of Rowena Crest in the Columbia Gorge, and just west of the town of Rowena, Oregon.  First spotted August 5th at 9:15 pm, and Showing up in force August 6, the fire rapidly grew in the next 24 hours to 2,600 acres, and then to 3,372 acres by the morning of August 8.  Currently (Aug 8) there are 659 personnel fighting this fire, with 6 Helicopters dumping water on the fire and many Fire engines are used around the perimeter. 740 residences are threatened by the fire in Rowena and the Chenowith area.  Back burning operations have begun between Rowena and The Dalles.

This short timelapse video is a video speeded up to 16x speed and a few still photographs added in… no sound only the images.   Just click on the link from this sentence.

Here is a gallery of the Photographs taken August 6 in the evening Click on an image to see it larger, and use arrows to see the rest of the images.

Some of my better images will also be in the Wildfire gallery on my SmugMug website.  Go there by clicking on this link for wildfire gallery where they can also be purchased.

Thank you for your visit.  I have always been fascinated with documenting area Wildfires as you can see in the Wildfire Gallery Link which will open in a new tab.

Even more complete collection of local wildfire images can be seen on my Flickr Page here showing several photo albums from different Fires.  Click on this link to go to my Flickr Wildfire Collection and it will open in a new tab in your browser.


New Fire Calendar! Last but not least…

at the request of some fire fighting friends I have now
created a 2014 Fire Calendar, with my best shots from several fires
in this area since 2008.  I only ordered 6 for now, but will
order more if I get requests! email me at
to request a Fire Calendar. They are $25 each, or three or more are $20 each.

Click on a picture and it will take you
to a scroll through slideshow of each page of the calendar

$25 plus $6 for shipping and handling.
If you email me I will send you an invoice which you can pay via PayPal, debit/credit, or money orders. Locally I also take checks and cash. Thank you for taking time to look!

Finally! A SmugMug Storefront for Prints!


After much learning I finally am opening
my SmugMug store.

Magical Kingdom of Aurora

Magical Kingdom of Aurora

I am still not happy with their pricing system, so I am going to set up a discount code to use on the Thin Wraps, Canvas Wraps, and Metal Prints. Meanwhile you can still go directly through me on those items via email at The discount code will be about 35% off the listed prices.


Feel free to give me suggestions or feedback if you see something not working well, or you can help me make it better.

I also still have books and calendars, you can find information in the sidebar menu under Calendars and Books..

2012 Photojourney BOOK

My newest book is out, consisting of many of my best images from late 2011 to late 2012 (plus a few extra bests thrown in from previous years).

This colorful 8 x 8 inch book consists of 26 pages plus full size photos on front and back cover, and tells a seasonal story of the last year for this part of southern Washington and northern Oregon including bits from the Columbia River Gorge. Also included are photos from Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount Rainer, and Mount St. Helens, as well as Fire photos from this years local wildfires.

Price: $42.00 Shipping and Handling $6.00
Contact me at or on here to make an order. I am now able to take paypal, debit, and credit over the phone; chec or checks and cash via male at

Starlisa Black Photography
P.O. Box 190
Husum, WA 98623

Fire Helicopter Calendar available now!

At the request of some of the Helitack crew at the airbase in Trout Lake (here for the Cascade Creek Fire on Mount Adams) I put together a calendar of Helicopters (and one plane used for Air Attack Platform coordination). These are custom design and I am only making a very limited quantity You can email me at if you want to order one. They are $25.00 each, plus $5 for shipping if you need it mailed, and tax if you are in Washington.

This album of photos represents the pages of this 2013 calendar

Air Support on Wildfires

Trout Lake, Wa has been home for nearly a month to a large Fire Camp and Helitack crew, during the Cascade Creek Fire on Mount Adams, with several Helicopters coming and going. My brother’s house is right behind the airstrip which lodges the Helitack camp, and I enjoy watching these birds of the air coming and going. To us, the noise of the machines is simply telling us we are safe from that fire burning 8 + miles away.

During the Salt Spring Fire of (2005?), the Cold Springs Fire of 2008, the Crofton Ridge Fire of 2009, and now this one in 2012 there were many different Helicopters coming and going. This is a sampling of some of them, and I have many more shots I simply have not gotten around to processing. enjoy!

If you are interested in owning any of my prints or cards, any size or material, or my Fire calendars and books from this fire (limited edition) simply email me at for more information or contact me on my facebook page in the sidebar to the left. You can also see links to the left for my other local scenery photo books that are available.

Update on the Cascade Creek Fire on Mount Adams

Update on the Cascade Creek Fire on Mount Adams.

This is Dorina, she makes the Fire T-Shirts, Hoodies and Beanies, and they are lovely, very popular among the firefighters!

this is the camp entrance, located in Hollenbeck Park in Trout Lake, Washington

Update on the Cascade Creek Fire on Mount Adams

The fire took off again the last few days, and is now up to well over 11,500 acres with a new run to the Northwest along Stagman Ridge in a narrow finger of fire reaching around the west side of the Mountain. More information can be seen here on the  InciwebLink

UPDATE 9-23-2012: Now up to 13,727 acres, holding strong on the South and East boundaries and expanding to the Northwest along Stagman ridge, across Looking Glass Lake and another pretty lake with an island… and crawling down the slopes of the western foothills in the direction of Forest road 23. Containment still at 50%. Many of the crews are ending their 14 day rotations and heading out this weekend, with new crews coming in to take over Monday.

I have been busy making fire calendars and cards and selling them at the Fire camp, and having wonderful interesting conversations with some of these amazing men and women of all ages who work incredibly hard long hours out on the lines, and driving watertrucks and supply drops, and managing resources. I have a great deal of respect for them!

The calendar is a 2013 spriral bound calendar with many images from this collection or the previous post, and the calendar costs $25.00. I can ship them for an extra $6.00 and can take payments via check or paypal or moneyorder. My email is
Prints are also available, as well as metal prints and there is a pricelist in a link in the sidebar.

Here are more photos of the fire and the views through smoke

Cascade Creek Fire on Mount Adams

September 8, 2012 while the Highway 141 fire near White Salmon was beginning to wind down, a Lightning storm swept through the area and started at least 40 wildfires in Washington and another large amount in Oregon.  Some of the fires were put out quickly, but others like the one on the south side of Mount Adams 9 miles out of Trout Lake continues to grow. Smoke fills the valley making it hard on locals with allergies and asthma. 

Most of this fire is in the Wilderness area, and much of what is burning is dead diseased trees that have accumulated in recent years creating a dangerous situation.  In reality the fire, while deadly to slower moving wildlife, will in the long run provide a much needed cleansing in the forests.  When we thought we were saving the trees by stopping all forest fires and cutting in our wildernesses, we actually created a tinderbox waiting to burn!   In the natural scheme of things, fires caused by lightning provided an important function in the Wilderness, clearing out diseases and pests, opening up space for new growth, and in the case of Lodgepole Pine providing the catalyst needed to open the cones and prepare the seeds for growing.  Sadly, at this point things have gone too far and now a fire causes a great deal more harm on the way to creating good!

In any case, We have an awesome crew of Fire personnel at work in Trout Lake and the forest hard at work in containing the fire and keeping Trout Lake Valley safe.  I slept in my tent near the airfield for a couple days at my brother Roger’s place, and the sound of the helicopters coming and going was actually comforting, knowing they were working to protect us. 


This first image was on the first evening of the fire, in Trout Lake at the School.



ImageImaged on

The inciweb site below is updated daily, and an afternoon update today had some good news about the cars trapped by the fire.  Unfortunately a few days ago 2 of the cars left at Morrison Creek camp were torched… another one had melted paint and such and a 4th was untouched. 

todays update in part:

“1700 Hr Update: 10 cars were brought down from the South Climb trailhead to a safety zone where they will not be burned. Increased fire activity prevented moving them all the way down. Chances are good that they can be brought down to base camp tomorrow. The fire was active today, but no major runs.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Acres Burned: 6,467

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 4%

Total Personnel: 578

Serious Injuries: None

Crews: 17

Engines: 7

Dozers: 6

Water Tenders: 14

Helicopters: 5″

Inciweb Link 


White Salmon Wildfire

Early afternoon on September 5, 2012, We were seeing the plume of smoke from the Highway 141 Fire just north of town, looking like it was coming our way. By this time it was estimated to be over 120 acres, and by the next day it was up to 2000 acres. Two helicopters and two fire airplanes dropping water and fire retardant worked till dark trying to slow down the blaze that was crowning treetops and racing up dry grass slopes. They began again on the 6th working hard all day along with over 400 firefighters on the ground. Crews came from many far flung fire stations like Gray’s Harbor, Kennewick, Clark, and Cowlitz Counties, for a few examples. By dark on Sept. 6 it was considered only 10% contained, and hot spots were flaring up with wind changes from the east and decreasing humidity throughout the day. My own brother Boyce Black’s home was being protected by 3 of his sons, Justin, Boyce, and Dwayne; and one daughter Monica Yates, with their spouses and some friends, as they worked all day digging and scraping firelines around hot spots heading their way. The firefighters were busy elsewhere by this time, although they had been there the night before, late into the night. Some, like Monica, got blisters on hands and feet working those firelines. ON the 7th the fire crews showed up and made a 6 foot fireline protecting the house with bulldozers.

Sept,2012 Starlisa Black
— in White Salmon.