The burn lasted three days longer than they planned and they burned just a "few" more acres than expected but after breaking out the heavy equipment and cutting twenty miles of fire-break the smoke has subsided.
Kind of looks like a volcano doesn't it?
During the biggest part of the fire they had part of the refuge closed off because the smoke and fire was so heavy they didn't want people driving into it. Well, you know me; look, it's a tornado, grab the camera! so off I went into the fire.
It's amazing the places you can go and the things you can do with the right decal on your car! :~)
As a side note this photo was taken on the fly and a little experimental, I had the Tamron 18-250 mounted on the camera with a CP filter and when I came upon the smoke cloud I just stopped the car and jumped out real quick. I had fire in front of me and behind me so there wasn't a lot of time to compose the shot. The experimental part was a second filter. I knew the sky was too bright but I didn't have time to change filters so I grabbed a ND 2 filter for my wide angle and just held it over the front of the lens with one hand and shot the photo with my other hand. It's not exactly the tripod Quyhn Le was talking about but it was a "shot of opportunity". LOL
It didn't take long for the fire to burn it's way across the mountain range and the contrast between the blue sky and the burnt ground and smoke caught my eye.
Had you actually been able to drive into the refuge from the west side as the fire was burning this would have been the scenic view that greeted you.