Biking the Griffith Park Fire burn area

I just biked up through the burn area, marveling at how quickly L.A.’s finest were able to stomp on a raging urban brush fire that looked like this Tuesday night. Not one home lost, despite how close they were.

A firefighter I talked to said it could have been worse if the wind had been higher and commanders had not kept helitankers dropping water – 350 to 500 gallons at a time – until well after nightfall.

Next spring, expect this wasteland to be blooming … and pretty muddy.

See the Flickr set here of pictures from the burn area.
http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/05/firecrew_pano-thumb.jpg
L.A. City Fire crews pack up and wait for release orders.
(click to enlarge)

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5 Replies to “Biking the Griffith Park Fire burn area”

  1. Ya know sometimes I just can’t wait for mutha nature to take control. I have this urge to load up with some CA Wildflower seeds and spread them all over those hillsides and give it all a head start.

  2. I vaguely remember something I heard after the Malibu fires in the 1990s — that there’s an order in which speficic color flowers regenerate after a fire. Like white, then yellow, then orange (or something like that). It should be pretty spectacular next year, indeed!

  3. After the fires in Los Alamos NM back in 2000 they had crop-dusters buzzing the mountainside dropping butt-loads of annual wildflower seed to get things growing quickly to prevent mudslides. Pretty neat to watch.

  4. this sat is the neighborhood open house for the LAFD, swing by your local firehouse and show support for LAFD, they did an amazing job this week.

  5. We will have to be careful with seeding. During normal circumstances it is actually a bad thing, as there are already plants adapted to fire living in the ‘seed bank’. However, due to the fact that the fire was very early in the year, and during a severe drought, it may not resprout as well as usual. Also, in areas dominated by weeds, seeding can be a good thing.

    I have heard the city is going to spend a lot of money on revegetation . If they do this, it is important to choose plants native to the site. A very detailed vegetation map (that I did much of the field work for) was made of the area a few years ago; this could be used to generate a list of seeds. Alternatively, in the 40s the Forest Service seeded non-native, annual mustard and brome grass onto hills after fires. As it turns out, mustard can burn again after just one winter (Chaparral usually needs at least 8 or 10 years before it will burn again) which means more fires. Also, those plants have shallow roots, which means much more mudslides and flooding.

    The best thing to do, I think, is to just clear out debris basins, use weed-free straw waddles in drainages, and prepare for mudslides. The reveg will take care of itself in most cases.

    If anyone cares, I could post a list of the plants that follow fire in different habitat types. I am a botanist and have studied this a bit.

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