Dean M. Chriss
House on Fire Ruin, Southern Utah

A House on Fire, Southern Utah

(Click image to enlarge)

The origin of this image's name should be obvious. Light reflected upward from the sandstone ledge upon which the ruin sits illuminates the overhang above the ruin more than it does the ruin itself. In this particular case the sandstone layers in the overhang are oriented more vertically than usual, making them look like a flaming roof. One has to wonder whether 800 years ago the inhabitants of this area joked about this structure "burning" on every sunny afternoon.

The ancient ruins and rock art present here and in other areas is irreplaceable, priceless, and fragile. The act of entering a ruin can deteriorate it more than would a hundred of years of sitting undisturbed. Touching rock art, even lightly and only once, causes eventual staining from oils that are present in human skin. It can also cause flaking of the ancient paint. Small things have huge impacts over time that spans thousands of years. If you are fortunate enough to visit one of these places, please be extremely careful to leave it exactly as you found it.