There’s a margin of trees right near the road that aren’t burned, but by the time you’re around the first bend of the trail, you’re into stands of completely burned trees. The standing dead trees are a mix of trees that were already dead that burned and trees that were alive and were killed by the fire.
What I found remarkable was the thoroughness of the fire…for the most part, the fire killed all the trees. I had expected to find a number of larger trees still alive, and the smallest trees spared. That was not the case. Two years since the fire, and I didn’t spot more than a couple of seedling conifers. In many places, every single tree was dead. The oak trees seem to be doing pretty well, sending suckers up from their roots, even though all of the original tree is dead.
There are trees that have fallen since the fire, but I think those were mostly on their way to falling before the fire. If other once-burned areas I’ve watched recover are an indication, the big deadfalls will start about 7 to 10 years from now. And lots of the trees that burned in the Lake fire will probably still be standing snags many decades from now. Gonna keep the trail crews busy for sure!