Aftermath   2 comments

I think the hardest part of a wildfire is living with the desolation afterwards.  We were lucky in that no people, animals, or buildings were lost . . . but many trees were.

I’ve framed many views between the black walnut and the liquidambar.  They may make it . . . probably not.

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The old poplar is almost surely lost.  Part of its trunk fell, and is still smouldering.  The fire department didn’t think it would come down, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

afterfire1

One unexpected casualty was the front seat of Billy’s pickup.  He was so close that a burning limb fell into the passenger seat.

truckafterfire

He drove up to a handy fire truck and honked his horn, and they put it out.  It looked even worse before it was cleaned up; there were papers in the seat that burned beside him.

These were taken yesterday.  This morning I went down to the river and recorded some of the devastation.  Here’s a shot looking back at the house.  The ash was so deep it was hard to walk; and there were still hot spots to watch for.

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Here we’re looking across the river, at the big island in the middle.  It burned off nearly completely.

afterfire1

Walking downriver, we found a dead bunny.  There wasn’t a mark on it.  Perhaps it died of smoke inhalation — or fright.  There must be many more.  I won’t picture it . . .

There were many spots like this, where a downed tree or limb burned so completely that only a cavity in the ash was left.

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Before the fire, you couldn’t see the graceful limb patterns the old, old willows made, as the branches sagged to the ground and rooted.  With no cloak of leaves, their shape is revealed.  In the background is the black smoking hulk of the parent tree.

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The end of the burned area is almost exactly at the end of our property.  There was a large enough bare area to allow the fire to be stopped.

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It looks terrible, but we’ve seen the river bottom come back from fires before.  If we just get some good rains this winter, a lot of seemingly dead trees will sprout from the roots.  In a few years, all will be green again . . . until the next time.

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Posted May 4, 2013 by stablewoman in Kern River, Nature

2 responses to “Aftermath

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  1. It is amazing to think with so much destruction, the trees will come back along the river…wish we could say that about the Amber and Walnut and Poplar…

  2. This is a well written article about a tragic event. It must have been beautiful out there! I hope some of those wonderful old trees still have
    life in them! Pity about the wildlife.

    Margaret kevorkian

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