Posted by MMMMarcia on November 10, 2000 at 14:08:51:
In Reply to: The Aftermath Of Fire In The Gorge ... An Eyewitness View posted by Rich on November 10, 2000 at 11:49:03:
Thanks for letting us know what you found, Rich. As I mentioned in an earlier post, fire is not always as destructive in a forest situation as we fear. Or at least, the destruction is sometimes good for the area over time. And it is absolutely amazing how quickly regrowth starts in even the most badly burned areas. I saw an article not too long ago dealing with Mount St. Helens...remember the horrible volcano blast in the 70's? The entire forested side of the mountain was gone, burned & buried under tons of volcanic ash. Yes, I know that was 20-some years ago, but it was still in our lifetime, and as I looked at the pictures of that blast devasted area, I was surprised at how quickly things had come back, in various stages. After only 2 years, photos showed there were lots and lots of wildflowers, grasses and other meadow plants returning. Then tree seedlings began to appear, and the photos taken at 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc, showed a constant growth pattern. It's now a beautiful hiking area once again, even though the tallest trees are still not fully grown, by any means.
This doesn't mean I would be happy to see the gorge burned to the ground, but just to say that even after a serious burn, Life goes on, Nature heals itself, and in just a short span, things begin to look beautiful again, even if they are different. Such is the miracle of Mother Nature!
Many naturalists will tell you that some areas actually NEED to have periodic burns in order to thrive. So, while wildfires make me very sad for all the creatures great & small caught in the path, I know in my heart that it is part of the Grand Scheme for these fires to happen once in awhile. STILL...I'm so happy to hear our Chimnies weren't burned & that Top of the World will be waiting for us again next year.
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