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Creek Running North
August 02, 2005
Mojave burn photos
I've put a couple dozen photos up on the Creek Running North photo site.
Posted by Chris Clarke at August 2, 2005 10:17 PM
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Hey, sorry to be Kathy-come-lately, but I missed the story on this. Is it unusual for forest fires (desert fires?) to occur in this area? Is this a place you travel to a lot? So sad to see what the fire wrought.
I seem to remember the New Mexico fires were all in forested areas, never the desert. I can't imagine!Posted by: KathyF at August 3, 2005 11:46 AM
The fires that have been happening in the extremely arid parts of the desert southwest - Mojave and Sonoran deserts, actually - are pretty much without precedent. There have always been fires there, but there are so many new invasive exotic grasses like brome and buffelgrass that add to the fuel load, that what would once have been small fires of a few acres - or even a few square feet - now spread nearly uncontrollably. Big plants like the Joshua trees, or saguaros or pińons and junipers, cannot cope with such hot fires.Posted by: Chris Clarke at August 3, 2005 12:09 PM
Terrific photographs of a terrifically depressing phenomenon. That these burns are in large part due to an influx of invasive grasses makes it that much more sad. The evolutionary biologist in me likes to argue that an increase in the frequency of such challenges will only result in adaptation and change, both of which are "natural" and "good."
My gut and my ecolgical schooling, though, tell me something quite different, something with many negative modifiers and a lot of sadness.Posted by: Hungry Hyaena at August 3, 2005 12:23 PM
Posted by: dr at August 3, 2005 01:25 PM
Chris, Is the role of fire in this desert much different from the role of fire in the prairie or forest?