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Thread: Parts of Yosemite closing for Creek Fire, lucky the Whites have faired somewhat well

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Not even close for a number of reasons. When you talk drought out west, your talking no rain for months, which means little or no green vegetation like in the east. We are in dry conditions, but we still get rain. Go into the forest here and pull up the moss, its moist dirt. Do that out west, its like moon dust. The dry conditions out west also lend to many lightning strikes, the main cause of fires. We just don't get lightning like that and when we do, its accompanied by heavy rain. Not scientific, but my observations having lived in both parts of the country.
    Same here. My family did not lose our home in the 1964 fire that swept through the northern end of the Napa Valley, but neighbors on both sides did, and the same area again with the Santa Rosa fire two years ago. The summer savana like weather out there has no comparison to New Hampshire. And temperatures of over 100 for days at a time. Every creek completely dries up by early July. No rain from late April to mid Oct. I am very careful to have only a small camp fire up here in the summer, and no fire if it is windy. I camped for years in Lassen National Park, and never built one fire. At that time there was a $280 fine if a ranger caught someone. And in the summer, they were out there.
    Last edited by psyculman; 09-11-2020 at 02:48 AM.

  2. #17
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    It's common for land to be donated/sold for conservation after it's become worthless to its previous owners. In the case of the WMNF, I vaguely recall that the land had been valuable for logging (circa 1880s), but in addition to much of the best timber being logged out over the next decade or so, there were several enormous fires (started by loggers and/or their locomotives) that meant parts of the land wouldn't be harvestable for a couple of decades, and also aggravated the water-quality problems that deforestation was already causing for the downstream towns.

    1903 was a particularly bad year, with 84,000 acres burned. That's about 10% of today's WMNF, or about half the size of the 2009 Station fire near Los Angeles.

  3. #18
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I spent a summer in Yosemite and explored some burn areas that were in recovery. Absolutely fascinating to see the new growth emerge. In regards to the Sequoia grove, the seeds of the cones need fire become seedlings. They pop like popcorn. For years they wondered why no new trees were growing. It was a direct result of fire suppression.
    Yes and no. There are a number of trees that require fires for growth, but they need relatively small, natural fires. The mega-fires that we see today are much hotter and much more destructive.

    Does anyone know the fate of the Mariposa Grove? I found it as extraordinary as anything in the Valley.

    Yesterday I was bushwhacking in the Wild River Wilderness, and I don't recall seeing the forest floor as dry as it is now.

  4. #19
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    Yesterday I was bushwhacking in the Wild River Wilderness, and I don't recall seeing the forest floor as dry as it is now.
    It is pretty crazy how dry it is right now. There are sections of trail right now that are actually dusty. The dirt is powder and just blows around as you walk through it. We are in serious need of some rain.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  5. #20
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Did a leaf-peeping/lake/pond tour by bicycle today and there were many dry brook/stream beds, and a few rivers that really weren't moving... more like a series of puddles. Never seen it so dry, and I have ridden these same roads many times per year for the last 20 years.

    Tim
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  6. #21
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Star Lake is gone.
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  7. #22
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jniehof View Post
    Star Lake is gone.
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    Whoa! I suspect if someone walked through it they would find all kinds of hats and gloves that have gotten blown in over the years.

    There are towns in Connecticut now that are telling residents to cut back on water consumption, since the reservoirs are getting low.

  8. #23
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Me and my dog hike the trails around Lake Massabesic in Manchester. We have been watching the water recede and its amazing. There is about 50 ft. of dry land now, where its always water, (near the Main parking lot). I've never seen it like that before.

  9. #24
    Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    Very low here in RI as well. Just got a smidge of rain today for the first time in feels like forever. We're on a well and times like this make think twice about using water.

  10. #25
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jniehof View Post
    Star Lake is gone.
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    I was up there SAT AM and there was a guy in the middle of Star Lake filtering water and I joked with him accusing him of draining the lake. It really is frightening how many of the lakes and ponds are disappearing. Lakes Of The Clouds are as low as I've ever seen them too, although they do at least have water left. All this amazing weather has made for a pretty incredible Summer but we really need a good solid few weeks of rainy weather to recover. Hopefully we get a pattern change soon.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    We hiked Sugarloaf Middle and North last Wednesday in on/off drizzle and showers. Wednesday night we had a steady rain at the campground for several hours.

    On Thursday we hiked Cherry Mountain Owls Head Trail and the woods were quite wet in that area.

    The rain might not have relieved the overall drought, but you would be hard pressed to get a fire going in those woods last Thursday!
    When ChrisB posted this, just 7 or so miles directly west is where I live and I was mulling forest fire risk/mitigation at my home, since we were passed over by a few systems that precipitated on the high ground just east of here. His report made me think of the nature of the northern forest and how it can act like a sponge with quick uptake of moisture, but also more easily dried in the absence of precip or humidity.

    This link [ https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/new-england-also-fire ] is an excellent discussion of the effects of some changing of the dominant weather (should I say climate?) patterns we have been used to. Especially interesting is the observation of the all vs nothing pattern that spurs rapid growth, only to provide more potential fuel when it dries up.

    I was observing this summer how much of the new tender growth on my softwoods never got a chance to harden off before just drying up and dying. We spent the bulk of the summer hiking NE Vermont and local haunts here on the west side of the hills and the draught was heartbreaking to observe. As most know the situation has improved recently, I've had at least 3 inches of rain in the past 2 weeks or so, but has still not been enough to fill any water to the surface of my wetlands (mud is still hardpack in a few spots).

  12. #27
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    The Blackledge River in CT, from it's sources in Bolton to Gay City in Hebron looks like a trail, it's bone dry. South of the Gay City Dam, there are puddles and at the southern moost trail in Gay City State Park in CT, the puddles were just barely trickling, you could see the water move but could not hear it.
    Have fun & be safe
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