Post Fire Landscapes

Whiskeytown’s First Megafire

Only 6 years ago, this area experienced a megafire that was hugely impactful on the ecosystem and neighboring towns. The 2018 Carr Fire ironically started because of a car malfunctioning on a day that hit over 100 degree Fahrenheit. Even with emergency services’ best efforts, the weather’s unpredictable nature combined with extreme fire behavior and drought conditions caused 97% of the area to burn. As a result, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is still recovering and will be doing so for the next several decades. Even so, the people here, much like the area itself, are as resilient as they are welcoming. Our firefighters work tirelessly in the heat performing prescribed fires and taking other measures to ensure the prevention of another destructive wildlife. At the same time, our trail and maintenance crew continue to log hazard trees and clear trails in hopes of reopening them for the public.

It is important to note that the fire may not have been as destructive had climate change not played a role. As we have learned, the effects of climate change are very real and must be taken seriously. I believe we can all do our part to minimize droughts in susceptible areas and restore our waterways. When we do that, we protect ourselves.

The Silver Lining

All that destruction didn’t come without some good news, though. Since the fire, staff in the Natural Resource Department at Whiskeytown have discovered around 200 plant species that had never been seen here before, 2 of which are entirely new to science! You may be asking yourself, “how is that even possible??”. The fact is, there are many plants that are adapted to survive fire or even sprout after fires have passed through. Those that aren’t adapted to fire have been growing back at an incredible rate year after year. Today, you can see abundant wildflowers and shrubs even during the height of summer. I am simply in awe at the resilience of this place and hope that I myself can mimic it in my everyday life.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.