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Old May 17, 2013, 8:01 AM   #11
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It's interesting that you differentiate between forest and prairie grass fires. I've always thought of your prairie grass in much the same way as our high desert - grass and scrub brush. But then around here our scrub brush moves into juniper, pinon pine and mountain cedar quickly, and then to taller pines. And the brush we have burns at such a high temperature, it can be quite devastating. What was also interesting was how much warmer it was near where the fire started (though it had moved away from the area) yesterday morning. I could feel the change in the car as I drove to work.

I remember a number of years ago talking to my inlaws about the bark beetle problem in western Canada, and how the loggers wanted to go in and cut down the infected trees if they didn't have to pay stump fees. There was a group of environmentalists that blocked the idea, and it wasn't long before there were some really horrific fires, they even made the news around here. There are now a number of infected trees around here in the national forest since we are in a drought period again and the beetles have moved in. It's worrisome. Just glad that it looks like this fire is burning away from anything populated, the weather is cooperating with cooler temps and overcast skies. They are talking about containment Monday.

Hope that Western Canada can escape the summer without any major fires this summer, since I'll be going to BC later on this year.
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Old May 17, 2013, 1:54 PM   #12
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It's interesting that you differentiate between forest and prairie grass fires. We have a lot of forest....Boreal, Canadian Shield also in our province ...lot of pine/Spruce and invariably we can always count on forest fires during the summer. The province doiesn't often use the water bombers to put our prairie grass fires....think they usually do burns....to contain the prairie fires which seems to work. Forest fires though....they can rage on for days . We have lot's of lakes for water bombers to fill up and as a result the DeHavillands seem to be an effective tool to fight the forest fires.I've always thought of your prairie grass in much the same way as our high desert - grass and scrub brush. I think the Northern part of the prairie generally is more lush than the high desert....lot's of crops and wild grass...due to higher moisture content on our part of the prairie.But then around here our scrub brush moves into juniper, pinon pine and mountain cedar quickly, and then to taller pines. And the brush we have burns at such a high temperature, it can be quite devastating.I've read that forest fires with some of our trees...Jack pines...actually are needed to trigger this cone to germinate. So I suppose in some cases forest fires as long as they don't damage much property, wild/human life are part of the eco system. But be that as it may....I wouldn't want to be at the mercy of any wildfire. What was also interesting was how much warmer it was near where the fire started (though it had moved away from the area) yesterday morning. I could feel the change in the car as I drove to work.I bet. Makes a person really conscious of the potential seriousness of a wildfire.

I remember a number of years ago talking to my inlaws about the bark beetle problem in western Canada, and how the loggers wanted to go in and cut down the infected trees if they didn't have to pay stump fees. There was a group of environmentalists that blocked the idea, and it wasn't long before there were some really horrific fires, they even made the news around here. There are now a number of infected trees around here in the national forest since we are in a drought period again and the beetles have moved in. It's worrisome. It is worrisome. I was out during the winter through some Jack pine forests (Canadian Shield)....looking for Great Gray Owls to photograph...and I could see a number of dead / dying trees that were subject to insect predation. I hope it doesn't spread. I noted that this destruction wasn't apparent to me, last year in the same area.

The woodpeckers and the rest of nature can only do so much. Also in some cases some of these destructive insects are invasive species, not native to North America and can cause significant damage...with not much in the way of natural enemies. In cases like this knowledgeable intervention by man can assist mother nature.
Just glad that it looks like this fire is burning away from anything populated, the weather is cooperating with cooler temps and overcast skies. They are talking about containment Monday.

Hope that Western Canada can escape the summer without any major fires this summer, since I'll be going to BC later on this year.
I'm hoping so. Hope you have a good trip to BC. It's a beautiful province. Make sure to take your Pentax.

I'm planning to go to Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas this summer. I'll be taking a bunch of camera equipment.

Les
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Old May 22, 2013, 7:35 PM   #13
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As always, great images from your capable hands, as well as well-told story. Especially glad to hear you were not adversely affected.

I think I will stick to our damp East Tennessee climate!!
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Old May 22, 2013, 8:29 PM   #14
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Thanks, mole. Les, I just got back from a very quick trip to Wyoming. There is a strange beauty to the open plains of Wyoming, desolate but beautiful. Must be tough in the winter though. I didn't get to see much beyond Laramie and the view from the car along I80. Have a good time on your trip.
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Old May 23, 2013, 7:20 PM   #15
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Thanks, mole. Les, I just got back from a very quick trip to Wyoming. There is a strange beauty to the open plains of Wyoming, desolate but beautiful. Must be tough in the winter though. I didn't get to see much beyond Laramie and the view from the car along I80. Have a good time on your trip.
I've never been to Wyoming, but I'm looking forward to seeing this state. Lot's of photo opportunities I think. Problem now is winnowing down the equipment. Telephoto, fisheye, portrait, wide angle. Hope that covers it well.
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Old Jun 8, 2013, 3:18 AM   #16
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Very scary, I hope you survive the summer, they are great shots.
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Old Jun 8, 2013, 4:53 PM   #17
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Yikes! I know it's been a while since this fire and remember seeing it on the news here in New Hampshire. Was thinking of you. These are some nice photos under bad conditions.

Patty
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