Opal Creek Wilderness is - was - a place of exquisite beauty. Filled with gems of rich color, shapes and fragrances not found at home, and the cleanest air one could hope to breathe, Opal Creek supported ancient life rarely found anywhere else on Earth.

One man - George Atiyeh - is the person we have to thank for Opal Creek and the impact it has made on so many lives. His fire-in-the-belly drove him relentlessly to save this precious place when no one else would dare to believe, dare to protect. His death leaves a deep hole in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.

The 2020 Beachie Creek fire brought unimaginable change to Opal Creek - its ancient forest, and more than 800 species of plants, animals and water are forever changed. The true toll won't be known for quite some time. This place of unparalleled diversity will need human support in many different forms. Surely there will be financial, political, respectful and science-based hands-on efforts over many years to nurse Opal Creek back to health. 

At the same time, we know from other intense fires across Oregon, and Mount St. Helens in Washington, that nature knows best how to heal itself if we remain patient in the coming years and decades and centuries. Let nature heal herself, and nature will heal you.

Returning to Opal Creek after the Beachie CreekFire, Oregon Public Broadcasting document what Opal Creek looks like in August 2021. Unimaginable.

Looking back through photographs often gives us the feeling of time travel. It's impossible to imagine the swift and utter transformation of Opal Creek's brilliance in the wake of intense fire. Video and and some history of the Beachie Creek Fire illustrated by Oregon Public Broadcasting brings images of just how much Opal Creek has changed from the photos below. Thank you, OPB. Thank you, Ralph Bloemers. Deep gratitude is extended to the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center for picking up the torch that George Atiyeh held for this magnificent place.


We must remember - Opal Creek was created over Millenia by fire and numerous  geologic events. Birth, life, burn, rebirth...

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