In early September 2022 we stopped by the beautiful Agua Caliente Park, to find the grove of majestic palm trees, detailed here https://rdzphotographyblog.com/tag/agua-caliente-park/ and the photo below.
Sadly about 2 weeks after our visit a lightning strike set fire to a large grove of the trees, resulting in significant destruction.
As with any catastrophic event people are looking for blame. While it was nature that set the fire, one view is the palm trees are not native to Arizona and shouldn’t be left to be wild, with the extensive ‘beards’ you see in the first photo. Many believe this exacerbated the fire.
Regardless, the damage is done. The parks department removed some of the most damaged trees so they wouldn’t unexpectedly fall and hurt someone, but amazingly as you can see there is still growth at the tops of the trees.
The other good news is not all the trees caught fire, so the park, while hurt, is still a beautiful place to visit.
It may take time, but hopefully nature eventually restores the damaged trees to their prior glory. And yes the beards are still there.