Weblog of Leland Rucker
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Three Weeks Past the Olde Stage Fire 2009


I walked the North Foothills Trail on an organized hike Saturday with naturalist Dave Sutherland through an area heavily burned by the Olde Stage Fire 23 days earlier. Sutherland pointed out that the area north of town along the hogback is known for its occasionally swift, intense fires. Sutherland is a great guide, and I learned a lot even though I didn’t do the entire loop. The trail begins off U.S. 36 just north of the Broadway/36 intersection and crosses under the highway heading west.

Here are some photographs and comments from the hike. Click for larger versions of the photos.

We saw a lot of burned yucca plants. Some would break off while burning and become airborne, which is one way the fire jumped U.S. 36.

We saw a lot of burned yucca plants. Some would break off while burning and become airborne, which is one way the fire jumped U.S. 36.

Sutherland pointed out that the fire in this field just north of the subdivision, was set by firefighters to keep the main fire away from the homes.

Sutherland pointed out that the fire in this field just north of the subdivision was set by firefighters, called a backburn, to keep the main fire away from the homes.

This view from higher on the trail shows that backburned area and the erratic nature of the fire's destruction.

This view from higher on the trail shows that backburned area and the erratic nature of the fire's destruction.

This wooden post along the trail shows the intensity of the fire in some places.

This wooden post along the trail shows the intensity of the fire in some places.

A piece of firehose was burned by the fire. Next to the rock on the left, however, are plants that will bloom again in the spring.

A piece of firehose was burned by the fire. Next to the rock on the left, however, are plants that will bloom again in the spring.

Other posts on the fire here and here.

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