The King Fire devastated almost 98,000 acres in the Sierra Nevada, east of Sacramento. Our company lost 18,000 acres of forest. Lately, I’ve had opportunity to spend time in the burn area. There is a lot of work being done by our foresters, biologists, botanists, and others to protect the resources so the timber can be quickly salvaged in an environmentally sensible manner. Most people never get to see what is done to protect the soil, water, cultural resources, and wildlife. In the gallery are images of just some of the work being done.
Hundreds of millions of board feet of timber were killed in the King Fire. Once killed, the wood begins breaking down. It is a race to harvest the trees before their value is lost.
The fire started September 13th. So many organisms died during the fire, but life is beginning to return in sprouts of green.
All foresters are painters of a sort. Give them a can of spray paint and you’ll get instructions for the loggers all over the woods. These instructions are for the placement of rock in a rolling dip. The dip helps drain water from the road and the rock minimizes muddy water running off.
This was a young Ponderosa pine stand of trees lost in the fire.
Blue marks on these trees and blue flagging deliniate a stream protection zone. Even though there is currently no water in this little draw, equipment is restricted from it. This is to minimize soil disturbance next to a waterway.
ELZ means “equipment limitation zone.” These zones are used to keep equipment out of areas to avoid excessive soil disturbance.
Many roads in sensitive areas are rocked. This is done to avoid muddy runoff during the rainy periods.
Roads are rocked coming in and out of stream crossings. Bridges are often upgraded and culvert pipes are up sized to handle greater runoff, which is a common affect following large fires.
Patches of dead trees are left scattered in the burn. These trees provide habitat structure for cavity dwelling wildlife.
Archaeological sites identified in the burn area are protected.
The fire didn’t kill all the trees within the burn. We retain trees that will likely survive the fire damage. High risk trees are removed.
Skidding salvage logs to the landing.
A load of salvage logs roll through the tiny community of Georgetown.
There is a lot of preparation that has to be done prior to logging. It has taken a large team of resource professionals to get the job done on a project this size.
Just for children a picture book about wildfire and the forest rehabilitation that takes place after a fire. Check out, Firestorm In the Forest.