Trapper Creek fire

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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drm
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Re: Trapper Creek fire

Post by drm » October 7th, 2020, 6:06 pm

Thanks for posting this. It also looks like the upper part of the Observation Trail is in high intensity burn behind the peak. But I expected that the fire perimeter within the upper Trapper Creek Canyon would be low intensity.

Another impact not shown is that apparently some trails were turned into fire breaks - presumably that means wider. I read somewhere that includes part of the Trapper Creek Trail, but we don't know how much of it.

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adamschneider
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Re: Trapper Creek fire

Post by adamschneider » October 7th, 2020, 7:43 pm

The BAER maps look at "soil burn intensity"; but how well does that correlate to whether or not the crowns of the trees burned? Isn't it possible that some areas were totally devastated ABOVE the ground while the soil was relatively unscathed?

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drm
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Re: Trapper Creek fire

Post by drm » October 8th, 2020, 7:25 am

It's always possible - maybe likely in spots. But that ground-level heat is going to radiate upwards to the very dry crowns, so I kind of doubt that the two could be different over that much terrain.

querulous
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Re: Trapper Creek fire

Post by querulous » October 8th, 2020, 9:07 am

I've looked into the Dry Creek valley from Rock Point, the high point on the Paradise Creek-Dry Creek divide. the landscape looks predominantly green from there, barring the upper 2-3 miles of the Big Hollow creek basin. From what I saw, the "high severity" patches on the map corresponded well with ~100% mortality patches.

The edges of the fire are an interesting view, generally. Fire effects can go from high-severity 100% mortality to nothing at all in 50 yards. And I don't get the impression that this is due to suppression activity. Wind changes, weather changes, topography changes, the fire quits. I also don't think that they really did a lot to contain this fire, barring trying to protect the Mineral Springs cabin ghetto. Resources were stretched very thin, and there were more important fires to fight at the time (more human infrastructure threatened).

I am cautiously optimistic about Siouxon creek as well, but we won't really know until we get in there. I expect it to still feel like a forested landscape, not like e.g. Tanner Butte which was throughly cooked every which way.

There were some relatively big areas of nice old forest up Big Hollow creek, in addition to mid-20th-century patch cuts; I lament the loss of old forest there, but really it could have been a whole lot worse, definitely nothing like the Yacolt burn.

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