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Author Topic: Active Fire on TRR  (Read 845 times)

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thedayhascome

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Active Fire on TRR
« on: November 07, 2016, 02:08:31 PM »

Confirmed by the DBNF Forest Service. There is an acive fire between TRR and Mountain Parkway, near the Woodland parking area noted on the map in DBNF post.



https://www.facebook.com/danielboonenf/posts/1526012664080845
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Spooky

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2016, 03:37:22 PM »

That is terrible.  They have it posted everywhere no fires!!  We left near that area on Saturday and had Rangers check on us Thursday, Friday and Saturday am.  When we left(Sat 2pm) a large family group with an RV packed that lot and we said something about a fire ban and the fines and it didn't seem to sink in.  They really just wanted our parking spot!!  But it was beyond packed on that entire road!!
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thedayhascome

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2016, 02:03:22 PM »

Update: Fire expected to burn 200+ acres north of Gray's Arch TH on TRR. Expect this area to be closed through the weekend, I'm sure.

http://www.wkyt.com/content/news/Firefighters-battle-Red-River-Gorge-fire-400446981.html
« Last Edit: November 09, 2016, 02:08:32 PM by thedayhascome »
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KYhiker40

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2016, 09:24:39 PM »

This makes me so angry.  It's bad enough that nature has to knock down trees and ruin my favorite legal camp spots, but to see humans be so careless and cause 200 acres of damage to a place I love just makes me furious. 
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Mark W

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2016, 10:54:26 AM »

Well, I know I must sound like a broken record by now, but revisiting the discussion in this thread is timely indeed:
http://www.kywilderness.com/forum/index.php?topic=7072.msg45871#msg45871

Here's a modified excerpt:

So, exactly how many acres have burned in the last decade?

About 1,500 acres burned during the 2010 fire near Auxier Ridge and there were some smaller ones in the week(s) before that (30-50 acres, if I remember correctly). Hanson's Point burned several years ago and there was another fire off of Rough Trail several years before that. Add in the 50 acres from this fire and it's safe to say that perhaps 2,000 acres have burned in the past 10 years. If someone has better info on that number please post it and set the record straight . . . Now add in the projected 200 acres from this fire! And there was a pretty big fire around Indian Staircase sometime prior to 2010.

Is that an acceptable amount? Just the "collateral damage" of recreation?

The Red River Gorge Geological Area, one of only a handful of designated geological areas in the country, is only about 29,000 acres. As mentioned above, OVER 2,000 acres have burned in less than the past 10 years . . . more than 5% of the total acreage of the geological area and closing in on 10%.

So frustrating to see one of the most remarkable and beautiful places in  North America -- that has been preserved fairly successfully against industry/development threats after the initial logging -- destroyed by its visitors.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 10:57:07 AM by Mark W »
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Navigator

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2016, 11:44:18 AM »

In answer to your question, no. It is not acceptable. I wish there was a way to prevent it. Its heartbreaking.
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thedayhascome

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2016, 07:12:37 PM »

Is that an acceptable amount? Just the "collateral damage" of recreation?

Mark, no need to sound like a broken record. This is obviously an extremely important issue, right next to the mining of noncoal minerals (S.O.R.R.)

And not to add fuel to the fire, no pun intended, but this is what the Gorge looked like about 4 hours ago:


Just as in politics, I don't think there is any definitive or one-size-fits-all answer to this problem. You have two factions, those who understand the outdoor elements, and practice safe fire and leave no trace ethics. Then there are those who come to the Red to have a good time, get drunk, maybe deface some rocks and trees, and possibly leave a fire that has not been fully extinguished due to lack of ignorance, awareness or education of the risk that fire and dry conditions pose.

Also, thanks for the context and linking back to that previous post. There has been a lot of great discussion around this topic in the past. The RRG is a special place and should be treated as such. I for one enjoy a nice fire, especially on a dark, cold night, and it would be hard to give that up. However, if it came down to having a fire vs. permanent fire ban - I would deal with it since the Red is an extremely special place and would still be enjoyable without a campfire.

Just my two cents, but here are my thoughts on helping control some of this nonsense. I would essentially propose creating two permit passes:

  • The existing pass required for all backcountry parking/camping
  • A new permit that is required to be carried on your person at all times, still noting backcountry camping and also allows for backcountry campfires in approved areas. This pass would cost slightly more and would require registration with a government issued ID

Any violators found creating or around a fire without any one person having this pass would be subject to fine. Clearly not the solution to all of our problems, but hopefully the slight increase in permit costs could afford additional Ranger headcount to help patrol and mitigate these abandoned fires...

One could wish, anyways.

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I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put together. John Burroughs

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KYhiker40

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2016, 06:45:29 AM »

Wow, the Shell Station is deserted.  I never thought about the impact on local businesses in the area.  Not only is the cash flow of a small business likely strained, but employee hours are no doubt cut.  I feel for these people, especially given the time of year where every dollar is already stretched.
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ShifuCareaga

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2016, 10:42:05 PM »

In a more optimistic, cyclic voice I'd like to remind people that when nature has dry spells, fires are not just expected but part of the recreation process of an area. We all hope the whole thing doesn't burn, but please recall that it's the poor decision of the National Forest Service to over-control fires for 50 years that lets wood build up in the undergrowth and creates megafires out west. If we don't want them here, we have to expect numerous small fires. Just thought I'd put a positive, rounded spin on this situation. Obviously I feel for the families and businesses of the area.
It's a constantly changing environment, and we hope for most forest fires to be nature made. But they are a part of life.

At least we don't have a Mt. St. Helens to worry about ruining our favorite places. I know out in Cali, Mammoth Mtn and that caldera is expected to go anytime as it is overdue, and imagine the impact to the whole region!!!

We're lucky the Gorge doesn't have the huge bare hemlock patches of the Smokies, or other massive disasters. We will have to endure some fires in dry spells. It's so dry out, frankly we've been lucky thus far across this state!! The Cumberland is the lowest I personally ever recall seeing it, though I didn't visit during the drought of the mid 90s.
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Mark W

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 12:59:17 PM »

In a more optimistic, cyclic voice I'd like to remind people that when nature has dry spells, fires are not just expected but part of the recreation process of an area. We all hope the whole thing doesn't burn, but please recall that it's the poor decision of the National Forest Service to over-control fires for 50 years that lets wood build up in the undergrowth and creates megafires out west. If we don't want them here, we have to expect numerous small fires. Just thought I'd put a positive, rounded spin on this situation. Obviously I feel for the families and businesses of the area.
It's a constantly changing environment, and we hope for most forest fires to be nature made. But they are a part of life.

At least we don't have a Mt. St. Helens to worry about ruining our favorite places. I know out in Cali, Mammoth Mtn and that caldera is expected to go anytime as it is overdue, and imagine the impact to the whole region!!!

We're lucky the Gorge doesn't have the huge bare hemlock patches of the Smokies, or other massive disasters. We will have to endure some fires in dry spells. It's so dry out, frankly we've been lucky thus far across this state!! The Cumberland is the lowest I personally ever recall seeing it, though I didn't visit during the drought of the mid 90s.

Good points about the role of fire in ecosystems and I think the RRG could certainly benefit from controlled/prescribed fires. The problem is that the fires started by humans in the RRG are not controlled or natural and occur all too frequently.

And it is nice that the RRG hasn't seen many of the hemlocks die off yet, although many trees do have the HWA insect that causes mortality. From what I understand, it is still possible that significant die-off of hemlocks could occur in the RRG. It is such a shame to see what it looks like in the Smokies.
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D. Stevens

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 09:35:23 PM »

And it is nice that the RRG hasn't seen many of the hemlocks die off yet, although many trees do have the HWA insect that causes mortality. From what I understand, it is still possible that significant die-off of hemlocks could occur in the RRG. It is such a shame to see what it looks like in the Smokies.

Good point Mark! In fact, from my knowledge of  Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), it is more than a possibility that we experience a large eastern hemlock die-off. In fact, I would call it a near certainty.  HWA isn't like a disease that some trees will be somehow resistant to. To say that, would be akin to calling a person tick resistant. Unfortunately, since the pest is a non-native invasive, in the eastern woodlands  there exist no significant natural predators of to the insect either.  One of the only natural remedies to an infestation is consistent, severely cold weather, with multiple consecutive days reaching negative temperatures.  Since we've had a couple of  cold winters lately, the inevitable has been simply delayed a little bit.  

That being said, there are significant efforts within the state to preserve the genetic diversity of the species.  Dotted throughout the Daniel Boone National Forest are stands designated as Hemlock Conservation Areas (HCA's).  These HCA's, along side of certain stands at state parks and within state nature preserves, are receiving periodic pesticide treatments, with hopes to abate the HWA threat in the selected stands and to preserve their genetic stock.

These efforts, however, will not preserve a significant portion of our existing hemlock population, representing less than one percent of the current occurrence of the species within the state. 
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ShifuCareaga

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2016, 10:04:18 PM »

a very informative post.
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genes

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2016, 09:16:50 AM »

There are some large, very old Hemlocks near the junction of Rough Trail and Rush Ridge Trail that have died in the last 8-10 years.  I don't know what killed them, but the WA would be a good first choice. 

Also, down in the Tennessee portion of the BSF, many of the Hemlocks have died.  Some were absolutely huge.  I am guessing more than 100 years old.  My son and I together couldn't put our arms around them.  They are still standing, but very dead.  The Southern Pine Beetle devastated much of the Yellow Pine population down in that same area of the BSF.  Huge groves of Yellow Pines in the early nineties were all gone by 2000.  Attached photo is a large Hemlock on the Laurel Fork Trail in TN back in 2001.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 09:21:49 AM by genes »
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Gene

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2016, 07:36:39 PM »

About the fatal accident today on the Mountain Parkway, related to the wildfire:

http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/article115103563.html
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Bazinga

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Re: Active Fire on TRR
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2016, 06:45:42 AM »

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