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Old Oct 23, 2011, 9:40 AM   #1
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Default On the Street Where I Live (close-by)

I'm stretching things with this picture, it was taken yesterday about 6 miles from my house. But it could easily have been taken from my backyard as this ridge continues past my small subdivision, and it looks pretty much just like this (as does the terrain all around). I have a wonderful view of the ridge from my upstairs window (the many pinon pines of my backyard are tall enough that they block much of the view of the ridge from my downstairs windows).



That particular area has had several several fires over the past few years. The burned area the helicopter is flying over wasn't burned by this fire.



As my other half said, better to photograph scenes like this 6 miles away than to be taking them from your house. It's also easy to be casual about this scene when I already know that the air attack was successful and limited the fire to about 20-30 acres and no houses were damaged.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 5:26 AM   #2
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Wow, the second photo really captures the essence of what these fires do to a stand of trees.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 8:53 PM   #3
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If I recall correctly, that part of the ridge burned several years ago. I've been surprised that there hasn't been more recovery, while there's signs of brush starting to grow, other places that burned somewhere around the same time have much more recovery. But the ridge is steeper than many at that point, perhaps that has something to do with it.

Not all fires create such tree death - I took pictures about a year after another fire (the Day Fire) where many of the trees had blackened and burned bark around the bottom of the trees, but they were still alive, with green branches. The one here was much more destructive. If it was the one I think it was, it was started by lightning, while the one yesterday was accidentally started by someone shooting a firearm (shooting is legal in the national forest and it's deer hunting season).
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 9:29 PM   #4
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Wow, pretty awesome shots! We drove into Angeles National Forest a few weeks back and saw first hand the damage done by the Station Fire. It was truly devastating and so sad. We are at the north end of the San Fernando Valley so we also get lots of close calls. By the way, we've been up to Frazier Park in the winter and thought it was gorgeous!!!
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Old Oct 25, 2011, 2:45 PM   #5
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saly - we're almost neighbors! I figured you were either at the north end of the San Fernando Valley or in the Santa Clarita Valley (a friend of mine there sent me a very similar picture to yours). If you want to see more pictures from this small fire, I posted them at: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...ary-sight.html .

Speaking of the Angeles, I tried to go to Millard Falls right after they announced the re-opening of the forest. Unfortunately the trail into the falls was still not considered safe and was/is(?) closed. It used to be my favorite weekend morning hike before I moved up the hill.

It seems to me that they re-opened Los Padres National Park about 18 months after the Day Fire. It was opened in the springtime and I was amazed at how much re-growth there was. I had a great time taking two types of pictures - one showing the destruction and one showing the rebirth.

The area around Frazier Park is pretty all the time (well, maybe not so much right now, it's pretty brown). There's a few good spots to hike, though right now I'm avoiding some of the more isolated/"less traveled" spots due to deer season. There were still some wildflowers growing on top of Mt. Pinos a month ago, but it already had a bit of early snow so I don't know if there's any left at the moment. But I find the hike to the top of the mountain and the wildlife viewpoint rewarding no matter when I go.
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Old Oct 26, 2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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mtngal, I'm at the north-east end of SF, in the Crescenta Valley area. My backyard pretty much continues into Angeles National Forest (the brush fire image I posted). I think that Millard is still closed....sadly. We drove into Angeles a couple of weeks ago to check out some of the campgrounds. The forest looked TERRIBLE on the way, but Chileo and Buckhorn actually looked great once we got there! In particularly, Buckhorn looked untouched.
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Old Oct 26, 2011, 2:11 PM   #7
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At one time I really was an almost-neighbor - I've lived both in Montrose and Glendale in the past. A very nice area, wish I could have afforded to buy and renovate the house in Glendale we rented, it was a little gem.

While I haven't hiked much in the Angeles since we moved over 10 years ago, I always loved it and hearing about Buckhorn and Chileo brings back memories. Did you make it up to Islip Saddle? Used to love hiking in that area.

About the only area of the ANF I now visit on a semi-regular basis is the Lieber Mountain area (northwest part of the forest). It usually is very nice in the spring with the wildflowers, there's a dirt forest service road that is usually graded once a year. What surprised me this spring was that it was closed, even though the area I wanted to visit was a long way from the Station Fire area.

I've been wanting to experiment with a couple of photo techniques and need a waterfall to do it - since Millard is still closed, perhaps I'll venture over to Sturdevant Falls. It looked like it was out of the Station Fire area and should be open, at least that's what I thought when looking at the Angeles National Forest website.
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Old Oct 26, 2011, 5:45 PM   #8
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Hi mtngal

I find it very interesting to read all the interaction between yourself and saly. Though I've not been to the USA, I know that your part is quite similar in climate and topography to the part of Australia I live in (coastal South Australia, which is Mediterranean in climate).

First about the photos, they are impressive shots. Photo #1 really captures the 'feel' of the burning - with the smoke so 'well exposed' and looking so lifelike / real (rather than some that the 'news / photojournalistic' share which look often overcooked.

About photo #2 - highlighting the water 'chopper - as well as the 'old burnt' area (as selvin also pointed out). I appreciate the little 'heat blur' caused by the helicopter in photo #2 - nice touch!

About your area... it does look very similar to what lots of 'warm temperate' South Australia looks like, eg the Adelaide Hills in our summer / autumn. Our 'inland / outback' (away from the coast, north part of our state) is much more dry / arid / harsh and 'desolate' (unless flooding waters come down and then the dessert transforms to a miraculous green).

There have been several bushfires in your area we've heard about over recent years (also in Greece), and you've probably heard about Aussie bushfires. I'm glad that you took these photos 6 miles (10 km) from your home.. as your other half said... better than from your home which could have been in danger! Adelaide has been 'spared' a bad fire for a long time.

Some of Australia's trees actually require a fire to reproduce (ie some eucalyptus trees have seeds / nuts that only crack open in the heat of a fire and germinate in the ashes).

It's a shame the park where the Millard Falls are in, is (still) closed. What is the actual reason? (fire caused the path to be unsafe... ie erosion because trees & roots are no longer holding the slopes together?... or because trees might be 'falling down'?) Or is there something else?

I hope that the forest will open soon - and we will see some more photos from both of you (mtngal & saly) - and maybe others. In the meantime I look forward to your other waterfall photos!

Best wishes

Paul
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Old Oct 26, 2011, 6:17 PM   #9
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Paul - brush fire is part of life when you live in hot and dry climates. I know you have had your share of them! I understand that Millard Falls is closed because there are large boulders above the fall in precarious positions. The forest rangers are considering dynamiting them, but they are still contemplating. In the meanwhile, the place is closed for hikers' safety..... Hiking paths close for various reasons, but mainly due to what you wrote - for several years after a brush fire, there are lots of mud slides and other erosion due the brush being burnt away. The "Station Fire" we had 3 years ago in this area burnt 160,000 acres (650 sq km) of prime forest land, coming within 1/2 mile of my house. As I said, it's part of life around here, but really hate to see the beautiful trees gone and all the wildlife that were killed or displaced.
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Old Oct 27, 2011, 10:03 AM   #10
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I do think that California and parts of Australia must be very similar - I've seen a number of pictures of your country posted around on this board and they sometimes seem eerily familiar. However, you have far more interesting birds and wildlife!

What I found interesting about the Station Fire is that it was so destructive. Much of the area that it covered has been burned before, in the last 10-20 years. That usually means there's less undergrowth and there won't be as much tree death/ground sterilization as a hot fire.

There's a lot of mitigation efforts by the national forest service after brush fires, part of the reason they close the forests afterwards. They'll re-seed the area, try to mitigate bull-dozed fire breaks, do various things to try to stop run-off from eroding steep hillsides.

I had assumed the Millard Falls trail was still closed because of dead-fall - standing dead trees that can fall or lose branches at any time, and the "trail" goes through a narrow, steep canyon cut by the stream - it's mostly just following the streambed, boulder-hopping in a couple of places though the stream isn't deep. There's a lot of trees growing along it since the stream is a year-round one, it's normally relatively lush for being in a semi-arid location. I'm sorry that it's because of the boulders above Millard Falls - several of them have been there for many years, which is why I always loved visiting them. The waterfall itself doesn't have a huge amount of water flowing down it (kind-of whispy), but it's fairly high and at the very top there's a couple of boulders that more or less block the opening - making the water look like it is coming through a hole. Perhaps there's more rocks blocking the canyon, brought down by run-off from the winter's rains over barren land and the whole thing has become unstable.

Sturdevant Falls aren't half as interesting (my opinion). There's more water going over them (though I don't think they are as high) but they are more exposed, the canyon isn't as narrow and the trail in is partly an old concrete road (which is fairly steep and has no cover so on the return trip it can be miserable). Since it is also much further away from me I find it hard to get too enthusiastic about going there any more, and haven't hiked out of Chantry Flats since I moved up to Frazier Park.
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