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Thread: Forest Fires in New England

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    Forest Fires in New England

    With this extended dry stretch we've had recently, the fire risk has been very high. Relative to hiking...

    - Rocky Mountain, Greenfield, MA - Fire on the west face two days ago (this is the nothern terminus of the Pocumtuck Ridge Trail)

    - Mt. Major, Alton, NH - Fire near the summit this afternoon. Apparently they called for a helicopter this afternoon around 5:30.

    - Bartlett, NH - Visible from Attitash today, ???

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    AP Article on the Mt. Major fire:

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...04-25-06-10-41

    Apparently the fire is spreading toward Straightback Mountain

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    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Here's more details from the Laconia Citizen newspaper site.

    I'm 20 miles southeast of the summit. We have about a ten mile per hour breeze here from the NW; I imagine it's blowing somewhat harder on Major.
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

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    Wow, that's terrible! 28 acres may seem small compared to wild fires out west, but it's a lot of land!

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    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    I can attest after my experience last weekend (see my TR) that even then the leaves and brush on the ground were incredibly dry and burned very easily and quickly. Scary fast. A week later it can only be worse. A single spark from a cigarette or campfire could definitely take out an entire forest right now. I hope they can get these under control quickly and safely.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member rocksnrolls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocket21
    - Rocky Mountain, Greenfield, MA - Fire on the west face two days ago (this is the nothern terminus of the Pocumtuck Ridge Trail)
    Hmm, glad I've already scouted that part for our PRT hike next week!

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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Blueberries

    Just a note. Mt Major and Straightback (primarily Straightback) used to be have a commercial blueberry operation. Then it was common practice to burn the fields every other year. On occasion, it is suspected that a few locals may initiate burns in a lawless attempt to enhance the blueberry picking up there.

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    Mt. Major: From a webcam and some aerial shots I've looked at it looks to be the Boulder Trail (orange blazed) that is mostly affected but there are also several other areas of burn. What the loggers don't cut and slash, or the snowmobilers crush, fire has to inflict its share.

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    As an update, Route 11 near the Major Parking area is closed and traffic is being detoured around. I think I could smell a little smoke near Alton Bay, but I couldn't see anything from the road.

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    Senior Member NewHampshire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carole
    Mt. Major: From a webcam and some aerial shots I've looked at it looks to be the Boulder Trail (orange blazed) that is mostly affected
    Man, that stinks! Thats the route we took up last weekend and I thought it was a rather nice little trail. Hopefully it is not TOO messed up.



    Brian
    Adopter: Wildcat Ridge Trail from Rt.16 to Wildcat "D". If you have any issues please contact me!

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    Senior Member Willoughby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carole
    Mt. Major: From a webcam and some aerial shots I've looked at it looks to be the Boulder Trail (orange blazed) that is mostly affected but there are also several other areas of burn. What the loggers don't cut and slash, or the snowmobilers crush, fire has to inflict its share.
    I was on the Boulder Trail Thursday, descending, just after noon, with my son. (We did the Main Trail up - very nice day, fun to be back on Major after several decades, views to Washington & Passaconaway/Whiteface/S.Twin & Moosilauke among others.) It was a shock today to read that we were just ahead of a fire! Has anyone heard how (or when or where) the fire started?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willoughby
    Has anyone heard how (or when or where) the fire started?
    I was on the Red Hill fire tower around when it was first reported, which would have been later in the afternoon on Thursday. I implied that it started closer to Major and started to move east/southeast.

    As of this morning per the Conway Daily Sun, firefighters have the perimeter controlled but not the fire - they expect to be there until the forecasted rain tonight. The count has reached 30 acres apparently.

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    Union Leader story says: "the cause of the fire has not been determined, but forest rangers from the Division of Forest and Lands will be investigating once the fire is declared under control." I, for one, will be watching for that information.

    The article also mentions: "firefighters found a water source on the mountain and at 11:15 a.m. had hooked up a pump and connected hoses to it." The only source up there is a pretty little pond/marsh area that is on the side of the Boulder Trail. It's a wonderful area for birds and wildflowers. I hate to think of what it looks like now.

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    Senior Member brianW's Avatar
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    Many forget that fire is a natural event and many plants need it for there life cycles. It may look "ugly" now after the fire but wait a year (or even a few months) and see the new life emerging.

    In the are I live in now (Georgia, South Carolina border) state and federal agencies do control burns on a regular basis in the spring. This decreases the wild fires during the summer and accordin to a workshop I took increases the over all health of the forest.
    Last edited by brianW; 04-28-2008 at 06:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianW
    Mant forget that fire is a natural event and many plants need it for there life cycles. It may look "ugly" now after the fire but wait a year (or even a few months) and see the new life emerging.
    It is a valid point, though we have also seen areas never recover from it in New England (such as the summit of Major, Monadnock, Cardigan, Chocorua, Baldface, etc.)

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