View Full Version : Brush Fire on Pilot Knob (NY)

Doc McPeak
04-22-2004, 08:48 PM
I was strolling about the ledges on Pilot Knob today and there is a huge (well, about an acre or two) remnant of a brush fire right around the area of the first lookout.

Does anyone have any info about this fire? It didn't smell fresh, and I haven't been up there since last August so I imagine it happened in the fall. The cliffs seemed to have contained it from spreading up the mountain and most of the damage was contained to the scrub, but how sad to see one of my favorite blueberry groves reduced to a charred swath of wasteland. :(

Mark Schaefer
04-23-2004, 03:21 AM
Doc, I don't have any knowledge of the recent burn at Pilot Knob. But the impact to the blueberries will likely be short. Historically many areas were burned to encourage the growth of blueberry bushes - to ensure that the trees did not grow too high and shade out the blueberry bushes.

Often when I climb Ashokan High Point in the Catskills I will encounter an old timer who laments that the views and the blueberries were better 40-50 years ago when Ashokan High Point was frequently burned to increase the blueberry yield. Many areas of the Shawangunk Ridge were similarly burned during the early 20th century.

I imagine the blueberries will soon return to Pilot Knob, hopefully in greater abundance than before.