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Tag Archives: brush fire

Back in April, there was a fire on our hillside – you can see the images from that day here. Our neighbor’s place suffered a lot of damage and he asked me to document the recovery over the course of the growing seasons with my camera. He set up a photo point for me to visit on a regular basis and after 2 1/2 months, it’s easy to see that recovery is well on its way. So far, there has not been a big influx of weeds in most places. In fact, the native wildflowers are doing well – even more abundant than in the areas that were not burned! The bitterbrush, a favorite food for the local mule deer, does not seem to be sprouting back. This will be a major change in the habitat. Grasses and forbs are doing well.

 

April 20, three days following the fire. The yellow rebar marks the photo point.

 

May 1. The burned pine tree on the right and bent over to the left burned bitterbrush show up in all the images in this series.

 

May 13

 

May 22

 

May 30

 

June 14

 

June 28

 

Balsamroot bloomed very well in the burned area.

 

Lupine is blooming more abundantly and for a longer season in the burned area compared to the non-burned area.

 

Douglas sunflowers are also more abundant.

 

Lush growth

 

The day of the fire.

 

 

I was up early and out on the wet hillside this morning, hoping to hear birds and try to figure out which ones were singing. It was a glorious morning after all the rain we’ve had this week. Rubber boots were the fashion statement of the morning. I meant to take the big camera but, somehow managed to leave it behind so once again, Instagram to the rescue. Really, I mean to get serious about photography again. Soon. Really.

 

That’s our nicest pine tree

 

The ground is starting to heal nicely after the April 17th brush fire

 

Sunrise!

 

I think these are Douglas sunflowers

 

I don’t think the pines down in the draw are going to survive

 

Here’s something new

 

Lots of chokecherry blossoms this year

 

Target practice?

 And birds. Here is the list of birds I was able to identify by sight or sound:

California Quail

Dusky Grouse

Red-tailed Hawk

Mourning Dove

Rufous Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird

Northern Flicker

Western Wood-Pewee

Willow Flycatcher

Say’s Phoebe

Warbling Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Common Raven

Tree Swallow

Violet-green Swallow

Black-capped Chickadee

Mountain Chickadee

House Wren

Western Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

American Robin

Gray Catbird

Orange-crowned Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Spotted Towhee

Western Tanager

Black-headed Grosbeak

Brewer’s Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Cassin’s Finch

Pine Siskin

Before we left on vacation, there was still a foot and a half of snow in our yard. Our road went from slush to ice to mud depending on the temperature each day. Walking was difficult because the snow was soft and wet.

When we returned on Sunday the snow was all gone and wildflowers were starting to bloom. We were grateful for spring.

Yesterday, all that changed. Someone’s burning brush pile got away and fire raced up the hillside pushed by high afternoon winds. As I drove home from town I could see the flames on the hillside above our house and I could see that our neighbor’s place was threatened. I wondered if there would be a road block and worried about the dog that was still in the house. In my driveway I found a person in a phone company truck who had been knocking on doors to warn people. When he realized no one was home and there was a barking dog inside, he stayed in case he needed to get her out of the house. There were many fire trucks and firefighters already in place and a bulldozer too. Their response and hard work kept the fire from spreading more. Our neighbor’s place was spared because he has a good sized expanse of gravel around it.

Hopefully the bitterbrush and wildflowers will come back and we won’t see an invasion of noxious weeds.

 

The scene from here on March 27

 

It was a hot fire that luckily, was contained by hard work and lots of water.

 

At the neighbor’s place. The burning pile in the background used to be five cords of firewood.

 

The fire burned all around his place

 

Our house is down the hill from this point 

 

 

Here is a link to a video of the fire and firefighting efforts.

 

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