13th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Fire and Unicorns

In August 2013 an unknown hiker in a remote canyon of California’s Stanislaus National Forrest decided to light a small campfire. He decided to light this fire even though California was in the midst on a record-breaking drought—even though the very earth itself was gasping at the sky, thirsty. That campfire grew to become the third-largest wildfire in the State’s history, known nationally as the Rim Fire, and created a state of emergency in California, burning some 257, 314 acres. This image, taken in Tuolumne Meadows of Yosemite National Park just days after the wildfire began, features Unicorn Peak, shrouded in the forthcoming smoke and haze.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2013
Date Uploaded: 11.2015
Photo Location: Yosemite National Park, California, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Copyright: © Jeff Deikis