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Author Topic: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)  (Read 711 times)

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shaman

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Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« on: May 10, 2019, 12:53:18 PM »

Nine years ago this Halloween, after a summer of protracted drought, three careless campers started a 3000 acre fire on top of Auxier Ridge. It extended eastward toward Fish Trap Branch and south toward Tunnel Ridge Road. At the time, there had been a "No Campfires or Cooking Fires Permitted" restriction in place  in all of Daniel Boone National Forest for over four weeks.

Most of the forest is in recovery and new growth is vibrant among the charred trunks of the old trees.

One exception is the location where the fire started. That area was near the highest ridge top.
The deep forest floor, the topsoil and rich humus, was held in place by the large old pines and oaks and a multitude of understory shrubs. (blueberry,mountain laurel, serviceberry & rhododendron) The trees and their root systems couldn't recover due to the relatively shallow depth of the nutrient providing soil. The trees fell, and soon afterwards the un-achored soil began to wash away over the steep cliff-face. It continues to erode, working its way toward the apex of the ridge, exposing the roots of the remaining trees and depriving them of nourishment. They survived the fire, but are dying almost a decade later from root dessication and starvation.

Erosion:


Regrowth below the ridge:
Mountain Laurel and Southern Pine


Tenacity:



Sassafras:



A New Start:
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 06:15:12 PM by shaman »
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Bazinga

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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 07:12:39 PM »

Nice pics...Love the water droplets on the sassfras & pine (only when they not getting me wet LOL!!).
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shaman

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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2019, 07:25:54 PM »

Nice pics...Love the water droplets on the sassfras & pine (only when they not getting me wet LOL!!).

Thanks!! Kind of a downer of a story, though.
The wet pines... ever gone out to Hanson's Point (also another sad burned area that used to have BIG trees) and slide through the young pines? Talk about getting soaked.
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Bazinga

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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2019, 06:41:10 AM »

Yeah, I've been dripped on out that-a-way (amazing how much water those tiny drops hold).  :P

It's a shame folks can't follow simple rules & end up burning large swaths of forest.  Can't tell you the number of times I've been out hiking and found a fire still burning.  Need a special dumbass award for the ones that throw the rest of their firewood onto the pit before they leave.  DUH!
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genes

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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2019, 08:21:58 AM »

Here is a photo that I took the first week of November 2008.  I was in the Rough Trail area while they were fighting the fire and decided to hike off trail to see if I could get a closer look at the damage.  I only took a few photos as the fires were still burning, the trail was actually closed at both ends, and I didn't want to get trapped if the wind and fires picked up. The damage is still evident even today.
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shaman

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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2019, 09:47:31 AM »

Here is a photo that I took the first week of November 2008.  I was in the Rough Trail area while they were fighting the fire and decided to hike off trail to see if I could get a closer look at the damage.  I only took a few photos as the fires were still burning, the trail was actually closed at both ends, and I didn't want to get trapped if the wind and fires picked up. The damage is still evident even today.

Was this near the cut-off to Hanson's Point/Pinch 'Em Tight area? Do you remember the big soft pine carpeted, tall forest, where now you weave through (and get sidetracked a lot) hundreds of young pines? I miss that hike through the old trees.

I was in Pine Mountain State Park in March 2007... during some dry Spring fires. Even the short trail out to Chained Rock was still smoking.

You can see the smoke hovering over the Cumberland River:


The scene at night:



Along the trail:


« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 10:46:46 AM by shaman »
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genes

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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2019, 10:00:31 AM »

This was on Rough Trail just before you get to "Initial Rock", where are the names and dates are carved.  I was hiking it in the north west direction, so it was before the Pinch em Tight and Hanson's Point area.
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shaman

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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2019, 10:26:19 AM »

This was on Rough Trail just before you get to "Initial Rock", where are the names and dates are carved.  I was hiking it in the north west direction, so it was before the Pinch em Tight and Hanson's Point area.

Yep, coming up out of Chimney Top Creek? At the time I didn't realize it extended that far east, then, about 4 years later I was on that part of Rough Trail and saw the blackened trunks and new growth and I figured it had to have been part of the same fire that took out Pinch 'Em Tight Ridge out toward Hanson's.
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ShifuCareaga

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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 12:58:28 PM »

said it before will say it again, the dbnf needs controlled burning management.
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shaman

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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2019, 09:04:11 PM »

said it before will say it again, the dbnf needs controlled burning management.

And more intelligent beings camping in the forest.



*They have done some controlled burning out along Rock Bridge Road, usually in February but that was many years ago. I don't know if they still do it or not.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 09:09:08 AM by shaman »
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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2019, 11:06:27 AM »



Was this near the cut-off to Hanson's Point/Pinch 'Em Tight area? Do you remember the big soft pine carpeted, tall forest, where now you weave through (and get sidetracked a lot) hundreds of young pines? I miss that hike through the old trees.


shaman, did it look something like this?


photo credit m allen dawsonhttps://pbase.com/mallendawson/image/94469507

I came across this photo the other day and thought about this thread. I wonder to myself what the Red must have been like before the fires. My first time hiking there was 2006, and I hiked only official trails back then. I never made it out to places like Hanson's Point. Didn't know it existed. But I can remember hiking the Rough trail in spring of 2009 and seeing the scorched trees.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 11:30:10 AM by RCKT_RCCN »
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genes

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Re: Nine Years After... (The Fire Of 2010)
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2019, 03:10:18 PM »

I started hiking the RRG in the 60s and most of the scenery has changed very little.  Trash was bad then and it still is now.  Many of the trails are not the same exact paths that they were back then, as they have been rerouted.  Just in the last 15 years, Koomer Ridge Trail has been rerouted.  The most notable changes are the wooden stair steps; there were none at all back in the day.  There were no trail guides that I was aware of and the blazes were sparse in many areas.  Even back then, there seemed to be a lot of people on the trails at times.  I guess it has been popular for many years.
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