Photography by Nicholas Roemmelt.
Some of the most severe wildfires in history of the USA were raging throughout the Northwest in summer 2015. Big areas of the states of Washington and Oregon were completely shrouded in smoke.
Only a day after I took that picture from the famous dead tree, the silent "witness" of the sorrounding wildfires at the very rim of the crater lake (Crater Lake National Park, Oregon), the park had been closed to the public due to the wildfires. In the night we could see the flames raging only several hundred meters from that spot. Though the night would have been clear and perfect for Milky Way photography, heavy smoke was drifting in that area and turned the icon of the northwest to a somehow spooky monument. All the "clouds" on the picture aren´t clouds but acrid smoke blown to and fro from heavy winds at that night. The smoke was burning our eyes and made us cough so we had the leave that place.