07/19/2017 at 10:19 am #1701
After checking the USFS website and finding no new closure order for the Lake Fire closure, I called the main number for the San Bernardino National Forest Headquarters. The person I spoke with there (at 10:10am today, 7/19/17) told me that there is no new closure, that she understands that they are working on a revised closure that would result in re-opening most of what was closed by the now-expired order, and that for the time being, I should be able to access all parts of the wilderness since the order had expired with no new order in place.
I will be curious to see what happens when I go to the Mill Creek ranger station tomorrow! Too bad it’s closed today, or I’d be headed out there right now!
07/19/2017 at 10:32 am #1702
Awesome news Chris! For today I think this means we can go on the SF trail up to the wilderness boundary, and the same thing for the Aspen Grove trail since we wouldn’t need wilderness permits. It’s not far, but it would let us get an idea.
They have really seemed conscientious about re-opening it, so I hope we get some good news! For now, I hope to take a hike this afternoon before a new order comes out so that it’s completely legal! 🙂
07/20/2017 at 7:24 am #1710BrittanyParticipant
I have been wondering the past two day because I haven’t seen anything posted and I have been counting down the days until this past Tuesday. I was just logging on to see if anyone had posted anything about, so thanks for being ahead of the game! Let us know how your visit at the ranger station goes!!!
07/20/2017 at 7:51 am #1711BrittanyParticipant
There are permits for south fork and mineshaft flats campground! Does this answer our question???? 😀
07/20/2017 at 8:13 am #1712
apparently, the south fork meadows trail will re-open, and the rest of the closure will remain. I hesitate to post it here, and won’t cite my source, but that’s as I understand it.
07/20/2017 at 9:21 am #1714
I’m not clear on the reason for any closure at all at this point in time. The fire was two years ago and the land and snags are as stable as they are going to get. In the badly burned areas, there will be dead trees standing for the next 100 years… Surely they don’t propose to close the wilderness permanently?
By the way, the bamboo-like reeds are starting to re-grow at that little stream at the first bend in the SF trail, there is a new bloom of wild salvia that I had never seen before in such concentration, and the fern meadow just above Horse Meadow looks happier than ever. That being said, there are many, many, many burned trees. Still, fires are capricious, and even in areas of devastation, it is striking to see a living tree or two standing alone amongst so many charred and dead ones. Hopefully the survivors will have a number of very good years since there will be little competition for water or nutrients in the soil…
Unfortunately, the buck thorn seems to be regrowing much faster than the tree population will, and I fear we may end up with a never-ending sea of buck thorn. But, we will have to wait and see how the wilderness begins to re-grow as it will.
07/20/2017 at 4:03 pm #1746shawnsislerParticipant
Here is some current pictures of the South Fork trail area:
07/20/2017 at 4:46 pm #1747
Thanks shawnsisler. Here’s a before shot from Poop Out.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/oE3p5q][img]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3892/14870343596_614946bb17_c.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/oE3p5q]DSCN9265[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippetydude/]zippetydude[/url], on Flickr
- This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by zippetydude.
07/20/2017 at 4:59 pm #1749
Um, a little help on posting the picture please? 🙂
07/20/2017 at 8:22 pm #1750
I made it up to Dry Lake today, and walked around a bit in the forest east of Dry Lake, which is an easy area to explore off-trail. I honestly wasn’t prepared for what I saw. Wow. In much of the area near the trail, and in many place that can be seen from the trail, every single tree, huge and small and everything in between, is dead, and many of the trees that still have green tops look like their days are numbered. The entire area around that trail is about 95% standing dead wood now. It will be interesting to watch it in the coming years.
It was still beautiful, in a sad and austere sort of way, but it was surprising. Not sure why…I guess I should have expected it. It’s not the trail it used to be, for whatever that’s worth!
Some spots (Horse Meadow, much of South Fork Meadow near the trail, the area immediately around Dry Lake) are still in pretty good shape, but the areas between them are new landscapes.
I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if fire was left to take it’s natural course, rather than our decades-long policy of suppressing all of it until the fuel is such that, in optimal conditions, it can’t be suppressed. Would the entire north face of the massif have burned? Interesting to consider.
One thing’s for sure, the wildflowers up there right now are CRAZY! And it was neat to walk that trail with all the weeds and tiny manzanitas growing right out of the trail! That won’t last long. 🙂
I’ll post a link to some photos when I get them sorted out. I took a ton.
Be careful walking around near the water at Dry Lake…there are THOUSANDS of tiny frogs everywhere! They’re so dense that you literally can’t walk where they are without stepping on them.
07/20/2017 at 8:30 pm #1751
here’s the picture you were trying to post.
To post pics here from Flickr, you need to go to the photo’s page on flickr, click on the “download image” icon, then right click on an appropriate size (I use “large”) then select “copy link address” or something similar. Then click on the “insert/edit image” icon here in your post, and paste that address into the “Source” field. They make it so easy!
I took a lot of photos today of scenes that I know I have photos of from years ago. Not sure I want to look too close at those yet! Ha!
- This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by chris in redlands.
07/20/2017 at 9:56 pm #1754
I must have exceeded my limit on posts, because the forum won’t let me post links to photos now. 🙁
07/21/2017 at 9:57 am #1765
Thanks for your help Chris. I’m going to try again once I get some pics uploaded.
Sorry to hear that it’s as bleak as it is farther up. I was hoping the worst of it was farther east since I had already seen the horrible before and after pictures of Grinnell. Perhaps we will see tons of tiny pine trees coming up over the next few years, but my understanding is that if the fire is hot enough it sterilizes the soil and few viable seeds remain to begin the next generation. Not a lot of happy news right now.
07/21/2017 at 11:09 am #1771
According the data gathered from satellites during the fire, very few of the burned areas got hot enough to cause the soil sterilization you refer to here. So that’s some good news!
Here’s a page that discusses it, and includes a map of burn severity:
Also, I see that they’re also going to open Forsee Creek! That’s great!:
The Day You All Have Been Waiting For Has Arrived!
There will be changes to the renewed Lake Fire Forest Closure Order.
This is a summary. Check the SGWA Website tomorrow, Friday 21-July-2017, for more details.
Trails which are being OPENED:
• South Fork Trail – 1E04
• Forsee Creek Trail – 1E06
Trails which remain CLOSED:
• Fish Creek Trail – 1W07
• Lost Creek Trail – 1E09
• Aspen Grove Trail – 2E05
07/21/2017 at 3:38 pm #1786cyndijohnsonKeymaster
Hi all, I’m looking into why you’re having problems posting pix and links. The site has been really slow for me today but I won’t say that’s the issue.
I’ll try a link myself, these are photos from the trail crew on South Fork last weekend. https://highlakephotography.smugmug.com/So-Fork-Trl-Burn-Area-Work-1516-July-2017/n-STHJ4T/
07/21/2017 at 3:46 pm #1753
Here are a few photos I took today. These are all panoramas or photoshperes, so you can pan and zoom around in them. I tried to focus on well known spots, nice landscapes, and places that were particularly badly burned, though the whole trail is pretty bad.
This set of photos include some photos from every part of the trail to Dry Lake, and a ton of wildflower photos. The juxtaposition of all the amazing wildflowers with all the standing burned and dead trees was a little confusing.
This video is kind of crummy and might make you seasick, but it illustrates just how many frogs there were around Dry Lake! Ha!
The USFS / SGWA have done a tremendous job in clearing the trail and getting the loose spots shored up. Just on the way to Dry Lake, there were a number if large trees that had fallen on the trail that had been bucked recently. I was sweating just thinking about how much work that must have been! Ha!
07/21/2017 at 4:19 pm #1789Ranger SteveParticipant
Great Photos Chris,
Your pictures show just how devastating the fire was. I only wish that the person(s) that started the fire (if it was man caused) would have been held responsible. When I was up there a few weeks ago filling root holes there were pine seedlings taking root, so it may come back in our life-time.
07/21/2017 at 4:39 pm #1790Ted_SParticipant
That’s a tremendous explosion of,I think,toads. We’ve often seen a few along the banks of the lake but never very many. Guess that whatever kept their numbers down must have perished. Birds?
07/21/2017 at 5:58 pm #1791
i wondered the same thing! I could see nothing at all eating those little frogs…despite there being a lot of birds. I was on the lookout for birds and maybe it was just that there was less to hide them, but I swear there were more about than there normally is!
Everything’s different up there now. The water in the creek at slushy meadows tasted like fresh snow-melt, almost. I drank the water from Forsee creek last week and at this time of year, it has a great piney, loamy flavor to it. I remember it being like that at South Fork meadows in summers in years past. There’s also a kind of funky smell in the air most of the way along the trail. Maybe it’s just the absence of the subtle butterscotch in the air from the Ponderosas. Hard to say.
07/21/2017 at 6:48 pm #1792Ted_SParticipant
Besides the explosion of frogs or toads, I wonder what other populations are unchecked. There were often ducks at dry lake, for which tadpoles or adult amphibians would likely be on the menu. A lot of things eat tadpoles, but most of them are aquatic, such a insect larvae and fish, and likely would have survived the fire.
Adult amphibians are probably preyed on by a variety of mammals – skunk, raccoon, weasel, etc. I wonder if the amphibian explosion is an indication that some of these have vanished from the area?
07/25/2017 at 9:02 am #1800MikeHParticipant
Thanks for the pics, video and info.
07/26/2017 at 12:12 pm #1806
Great pics Chris! By the way, I’ve seen the little tree frogs in crazy numbers several other times, so it’s nothing new. I think it only happens in these numbers when the water lasts well into the summer. They’re all over the place up at Lodge Pole Spring also. Odd, though, that they can overwinter when the ground freezes solid and the snow is 20′ deep in Dry Lake!
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