Tonight’s sunset photo

Wind Cave sunset photo by Bill Gabbert

As the sun was setting tonight over Wind Cave National Park the clouds were at first too thick for any colors to break through. But thankfully 10 minutes after the official sunset time the clouds thinned producing some beautiful colors —  which only lasted five minutes.

Photo by ©Bill Gabbert, with a Sony A7ii, f/8, 1/80 sec., ISO 250, exposure bias -2.3 step, focal length 63 mm.

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Norbeck prescribed fire — three months later

With the temperature approaching 70 degrees Tuesday afternoon I could not resist the urge to blow some cobwebs off my motorcycle. I cruised into Wind Cave National Park and took some photos with portions of the Norbeck Prescribed Fire in the background. The first and third photos were taken last fall on October 20 and 21, while the second and fourth were shot today, January 27, 2015.

The first and second, and the third and fourth photos show approximately the same areas.

Norbeck prescribed fire

Norbeck Prescribed Fire, October 21, 2014, across the highway from the lookout tower in Wind Cave National Park. This location is similar to the one in the photo below.

Norbeck prescribed fire

Site of the Norbeck Prescribed Fire, January 27, 2015, across the highway from the lookout tower in Wind Cave National Park. This location is similar to the one in the photo above.

Norbeck prescribed fire

Norbeck Prescribed Fire, October 20, 2014, near the boundary between Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park. This location is similar to the one in the photo below.

Bike and burned hill near St Pk bdy

Site of the Norbeck Prescribed Fire, January 27, 2015 near the boundary between Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park. This location is similar to the one in the photo above.

Other articles on Wildfire Today tagged Norbeck Prescribed Fire.

All photos were taken by Bill Gabbert.

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A Christmas Eve(ning) in Wind Cave National Park.

elk  in Wind Cave National Park

These photos were shot over a 61-minute period in Wind Cave National Park this Christmas Eve(ning). The elk is a 6×6.

coyote  in Wind Cave National Park

I have heard of wolves doing what I saw this coyote doing. I think he was hunting mice or some other small creature. The nearest prairie dog town was about 400 feet away. He would be very still for a while, then would suddenly leap a foot or two up in the air, and forward, then come down with his nose right at the ground.

antelope in Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave deer

bison in Wind Cave National ParkThe animals are, top to bottom:  elk, coyote, pronghorn antelope, white tail deer, and bison.

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State of Oregon’s wildfire insurance premium may increase after the 2014 fire season

Beaver Fire

The Beaver Fire, August 12, 2014, in northern California. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

The state of Oregon has an insurance policy with Lloyd’s of London that helps to cover the cost of suppressing wildfires during busy fire seasons. The premium for that policy has been about $2 million. But before the state receives any payout from Lloyd’s they have to spend $20 million to cover the deductible, after which the insurance company will cover the additional costs up to $25 million.

Two consecutive bad fire seasons has state officials thinking that they may have to pay more for that policy next year.

Below is an excerpt from an article in the Bend Bulletin:

…Like car insurance, where premiums go up when drivers have accidents, one thing is clear: If the state can land another policy through insurance giant Lloyd’s of London to help with rising wildfire costs, it’s going to have to cut a bigger check.

“We’re fully expecting that based on the experience of the last two years that we’ll probably be paying more for insurance if we can get a policy in the coming year,” Rod Nichols, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Forestry, said Wednesday.

The prospect of missing out on wildfire relief has rural lawmakers talking about thinning and clearing fuels from forests and addressing the effects of climate change.

“One of these years we’re going to light up Southern Oregon and have a fire season you won’t believe,” Sen. Alan Bates, D-Medford, said.

Oregon has had a wildfire insurance policy for nearly four decades…

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