Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
User avatar
lalahikesnw
Posts: 23
Joined: August 2nd, 2015, 2:19 pm

Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

Post by lalahikesnw » June 24th, 2019, 7:49 am

Wanted to get out of Portland and onto Hood this weekend, so decided on Elk Meadows. It was gorgeous, per usual, and great weather. Got to the trailhead about 10am and the lot was about 3/4 full. Trail is in good condition overall, some downed trees to work around but easily doable. The Newton Creek crossing still has the solid log crossing from last year so that was easy, even with the water flowing hard. In the meadow, around by the shelter, the 2 logs that crossed about 6 ft over Cold Spring Creek are now 1 log - the smaller log. So have trekking poles/good balance/no fear of small heights. I crossed just fine, as did my dog, but a group who had just crossed before me said they just hopped down to the creek and came up the other side.

I had hoped to head up towards Gnarl Ridge, to check out the snow status, but didn't end up having the time. I was told by a group that the snow is consistent starting above the junction of the TT and Gnarl Ridge trail though.

The biggest issue, as my title suggests, was the smoldering fire I came across! Not only was it was smoking and hot to touch, but the original fire circle had been expanded USING WOOD. *facepalm* I used my dog's 2 liters of water to finish putting it out (she'd rather drink creek water anyway), dispersed the expanded fire circle, and sat and waited until everything was cool to touch.

So, if you camped at Elk Meadows Saturday night in the first large spot on the meadow when you come around counter clockwise - you're welcome for handling that for you. And be responsible next time.

justpeachy
Posts: 2727
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

Post by justpeachy » June 24th, 2019, 10:15 am

This seems to be more and more of a problem. Thank you so much for putting it out! I would hate to see such a beautiful place burn up in a human-caused wildfire.

User avatar
jessbee
Posts: 785
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

Post by jessbee » June 24th, 2019, 10:23 am

Thank you for handling that as you did but I'm sorry you were even put in that position :(. Backpackers really should know better.
Will break trail for beer.

Blog and photos

User avatar
BigBear
Posts: 1590
Joined: October 1st, 2009, 11:54 am

Re: Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

Post by BigBear » June 24th, 2019, 11:24 am

That was good of you to put the fire out. Over the years, I have put out three very active campfires that the wind had whipped into a frenzy of flames: Blue Lake at Indian Heaven, Cooper Spur area, and McKenzie River Trail. The Indian heaven campfire was the most irresponsible in my mind due to the virtually unlimited supply of water within 50 feet of the fire ring. The other two although irresponsible, could have been lamely argued that they ran out of water. Emphasis on lame.

User avatar
lalahikesnw
Posts: 23
Joined: August 2nd, 2015, 2:19 pm

Re: Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

Post by lalahikesnw » June 24th, 2019, 11:56 am

I wish I had taken a picture, there is just no way that whoever left could have thought that it was completely out. I feel like it's just laziness, people don't plan for how long it can take to make sure a fire is out. Honestly if I hadn't decided to check out the campsite, and just cruised on the trail like usual, I probably wouldn't have noticed it.

Aimless
Posts: 1425
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

Post by Aimless » June 24th, 2019, 11:57 am

I also thank you. I've done the same to 'live' fires in unoccupied campsites on a few occasions elsewhere. There's never anyone there to educate or scold, so just putting it out is the most you can do. Sometimes the ignorance and thoughtlessness of others gets me down, but you did the only responsible thing. Thanks again.

User avatar
drm
Posts: 5047
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

Post by drm » June 24th, 2019, 12:52 pm

I've had this plan of hiking up a snowy Gnarl Ridge trail, expecting that on the exposed ridge above Lamberson Butte, there would be spectacular melted out spots, with water available from the nearby snow. Sounds like the time is about right for that.

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12572
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

Post by retired jerry » June 24th, 2019, 12:55 pm

yeah, thanks for putting fire out

I've encountered fires before a time or two, what's wrong with people???

RobFromRedland
Posts: 973
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

Post by RobFromRedland » June 25th, 2019, 5:15 am

retired jerry wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 12:55 pm
yeah, thanks for putting fire out

I've encountered fires before a time or two, what's wrong with people???
My opinion is that for some people it is just plain laziness. For others, it is a lack of education. Personally, I didn't realize how serious fires could be until I saw a fire that had smoldered for a couple days and what it does. I don't think there is enough good education on how long a fire can smolder and burn if not extinguished properly. If there was, we might see less of this kind of behavior.

I can hope....
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12572
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Elk Meadows - Put your fires out!

Post by retired jerry » June 25th, 2019, 5:24 am

yeah

what about putting a fire out at night before you go to bed?

I often let it go, at least if fire hazard isn't bad in which case I likely wouldn't have a fire at all

I know someone who always puts the fire out completely. We joke about it. He's probably right :)

I kind of like watching the fire die out as I go to sleep.

Post Reply