“You see that down there?” Mason, my flight seeing pilot, said as we banked over Whiskeytown Lake. It was surrounded by what looked like desert mountains, an oasis of blue in a field of brown. “Last year, we had trees going all the way down to the waterline. Now it looks like Lake Mead.”
He was lamenting the destruction wrought by the Carr wildfires of 2018, which hit little Redding, California, and much of far-northern California harder than most people realized. The Whiskeytown recreation area was almost completely devastated, especially the emerald trees that once surrounded this mountain lake.