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Old 06-21-2009, 04:19 PM
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Default From the ashes...

In 2002 Colorado experienced it's largest ever wildfire. The Hayman Fire burned 138,000 acres before it was finally put down. Some areas burned so hot that the soil, decomposed granite mostly, was turned to glass.
A great fishery, the South Platte River drainage, suffered extreme damage as a result of ash, gravel and debris being flushed into the river.
Now after seven years the river is slowly recovering and the forest has begun to renew itself. First natural grasses and wildflowers take hold in the ash rich soil and stabilize the earth for future plants. Aspens will be next taking advantage of the open areas once crowded with ponderosa and lodgepole pine. Finally the pines will return to their rightful place.
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Old 06-21-2009, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: From the ashes...

From anyone who witnessed this fire (along with the many others that raged across Colorado during a rough three year stretch), these pictures are better than any trophy trout posted on this forum. Most of us are, after all, lovers of the outdoors first and foremost. The destruction (needless and thoughtless as this was) impacted far more than fishing as homes and habitat were altered forever. It is a testament to the healing power of the natural world to see the undergrowth thriving. The fishing, as you said, is returning nicely. The caddis hatches the past two years along the Deckers corridor have been prolific and the fish in size and number are beginning to return to the levels many of us remember. Let the charred trunks continue to be a reminder to tread extremely lightly in the outdoors, and for outdoorsmen to be stewards of the land, water, and sky and to trumpet this message with untethered passion.

Thanks for the photos and the reminder.

Gary
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: From the ashes...

Yat: Great pictures!

Gary: Well said!

Larry
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: From the ashes...

The Fire was as bad as it was because man has interfered for so long.

Look at it like this if we were to let the natural fires that are caused by lightning to run there course from the get go then this one would not have been so bad.

The thing is man thinks he knows best.
SO we in our enlightenment said hay fire in a woods is bad.
So we put out every one as soon as it starts.

Then what happens is that the dead wood an grasses start to pile up.
The forest gets denser then it ever has.
Then bam nice big ole lightning strike.
Now you have way more tinder then was ever before just laying around.
An the fire gets bigger then it ever did.

The solution would be to do controlled burns every year.
Start a fire in one part of the forest an let her burn to the end.
If done every year on a rotation the fires would be small.
the destruction would never get to were it has in the past.

Now I think it is a great tragedy that the fire happened. But it is inevitable.
If we keep putting out the small one an don't let mother nature take her course it will happen again.

I mean the forests survived hundreds of years with out us putting out the natural fires. The fires cleanses the forest an creates ash the nurtures the new growth.

Just my take on things
DAVE
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: From the ashes...

Dave,
Your statements are true, but are only a few of the elements that lead to a perfect storm situation that became the Hayman Fire.
Other elements included
  1. Several years of drought
  2. Hundreds of acres of standing dead beetle killed trees
  3. A warm front with strong winds that allowed the fire to make a 60,000 acre run in one day
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: From the ashes...

Great example of Mother Nature healing herself. Thanks Yat, great photo's!
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:15 AM
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Default Re: From the ashes...

Beautiful pics!
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: From the ashes...

Yat,
Thanks for the beautiful pictures and the reminder of what happened.

Rusty
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