Sierra Views: Forest job a labor of love

By Mike Morris / The Union Democrat

Dusty Vaughn was so close to last year's massive Rim Fire the day it began spreading uncontrollably that he could see its flames and feel its heat.

As the recreation specialist for the Stanislaus National Forest's Groveland Ranger District, Vaughn captured dramatic photographs of the inferno, some of which were published by various media outlets.

"It was exciting," said Vaughn, 31. "I felt like I was helping to tell the story of the Rim Fire. That really encouraged me because this was my first fire."

While the Rim Fire quickly became the largest recorded wildfire in Sierra Nevada history, Vaughn witnessed first-hand the fire's aftermath in the seasons that followed: He posted signs during last fall's hazard tree removal, helped shovel winter mudslides and witnessed an explosion of springtime wildflowers.

Now, he's working to secure funding for new fire-related interpretive signs at the popular Rim of the World overlook.

"It's such a great spot because the fire burned as far as you can see from there," he said.

Vaughn developed a love of nature while growing up in Nashville, Tenn. He would go on backpacking trips in the Smokies, hike along the Appalachian Trail and even became an Eagle Scout.

"I always wanted to work in the outdoors," he said.

For the complete story, see the Aug. 14 edition of The Union Democrat.

11922779
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Thursday August 25, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Nursed back to health, hawk flies free

08/19/2016

Sonora resident Laura Reid was driving on Tuolumne Road when she saw ... more

Sheriff’s Office responds to critical report

08/22/2016

The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office has responded to a grand jury report ... more

Woman dies of injuries in Highway 120 accident

08/24/2016

The woman who spent Monday night pinned in an SUV after an ... more

Three rescued from wreck near Yosemite

08/23/2016

Three German tourists were rescued Tuesday from the scene of a crash ... more

Convicted murderer Thomas Hyatt to remain in prison

08/23/2016

Convicted murderer Thomas Hyatt won’t be getting out of prison anytime soon. ... more