- Jeff Raible
Updated: Jul 28, 2021
During the course of June, 2021, Arizona experienced many significant wildfires. Among the largest was the Raphael Fire, which started near Sycamore Canyon, west of Sedona. While never a substantial threat to the Verde Valley, it (and, depending on the wind direction, other fires) did impact the skies around us.
Early stage of the Raphael Fire, near Sycamore Canyon (mid-June 2021).
It was both sad and awesome to see. Sparked by lightning, the fire demonstrated its power over the course of a few weeks, gobbling up over 78,000 acres (120+ square miles) of parched land.
Later stage of the Raphael Fire, near Sycamore Canyon (late-June 2021).
Most days, the wind took the smoke away from us. Two days, however, the smoke hung low across the Verde Valley, casting an eerie pall.
Raphael's smoke nearly drowns out the sun.