My daughter came down the stairs Friday night and calmly said, "Antelope Island's on fire." We got up and gazed out the west-facing windows.
It's a sight we've seen before.
And one we'll see again.
Directly west of where we live lies Antelope Island. It's a barren rock surrounded by a dead sea of salt. I've been to the island only a handful of times, but each time I go out there, I'm amazed at just how little vegetation is there. It's hard to find even a single tree under which to find shade.
Since it's July 24h, a day when Utahns celebrate the Mormon Pioneers entrance into the Salt Lake Valley, I imagine much of the valley they saw when they entered the valley in 1847 looked like what Antelope Island looks like now.
Friday night we watched it burn--I tried getting some good photographs, but it required a tripod and long exposed shots, which was a little tough with all the mosquitos buzzing about. I got a couple at night and in the morning, you could tel that much, if not a majority of the island was blackened by the fire.
I don't know the extent of the damage, There's not much on the island, a gift shop, a ranch, some campgrounds. I would think they'd be able to protect those. There's also a lot of animals there, antelope, American bison, among others. I hope they were able to escape harm.
The last I heard the fire was caused by lightning, and therefore, as close to a natural occurrence as possible (the island has been left undeveloped...). Fires are part of nature and, as I've been told, can be very beneficial. The grasses and plants will return and in the future, us--of perhaps, others--will stare across the lake and see an island on fire.
Because it's happened before...
And it will happen again.