The Carson Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest urges visitors to be aware of their surroundings, stay out of closed campgrounds, and follow warning signs when recreating in the scorched area. 2021 Tamarack Fire near Markleeville in Alpine County, California.
The fire, which started on July 4, 2021, has burned 68,637 acres. He was fully confined on October 25. Burnt landscapes present many safety hazards to recreationists that either did not exist before the fire or were exacerbated by the effects of the fire.
“Although full recovery of the landscape burned in the Tamarack Fire will take time,” Carson Ranger District Recreation Officer Brian Hansen. “Visitors to this area can already see grasslands rebound, shrubs regrow and tree seedlings recover.”
Currently, there are no area closures in place, so all trailheads and trails in the Tamarack Burned Area are now accessible, including Charity Valley East, Burnside Lake, and Thornburg Canyon. Hikers should be prepared to navigate without trails or signposts, so be sure to bring a map and a GPS app or device. Also, it’s important to stay on the trail as much as possible because without live plant roots to anchor the ground, the burnt soil is easily erodable.
Crystal Springs Campground will remain closed due to concerns about the stability of the hill that was burned above the campground. Also, due to the increased risk of flash flooding, the lower portion of Markleeville Campground near the river will remain closed. Hope Valley, Kit Carson, Silver Creek and upper campgrounds at Markleeville Campgrounds, as well as Centerville Flat and Wolf Creek Dispersed Campgrounds, will be open depending on weather and conditions.
For more information, visit: https://bit.ly/CarsonRDRecreationInfo or call the Carson Ranger District at 775-882-2766.
For people recreating in areas that have been affected by fire, please keep the following in mind:
Flash floods/debris flows: Flash floods and fast-moving, highly destructive debris flows triggered by intense rainfall are one of the most dangerous risks after a fire. The risk of flooding and debris flows after fires increases due to vegetation loss and soil exposure. Always avoid recreating in a post-fire area during a rain event. If you are caught off guard, go up high. Never attempt to drive or walk in an area that has been flooded or if a debris flow has occurred. These types of events hide dips in roads or trails and other obstacles. Worse still, there may be no road or trail at all. Flooding and debris flows can wash away the entire surface of the road or trail and a significant amount of soil underneath.
Damaged or dead trees: After a fire, many trees are weakened by burning around the base of the trunk. These trees can fall or collapse without warning. Trees with shallow roots can also fall. Therefore, be extremely vigilant when near burned trees, especially after rain events or during high winds. Never picnic, camp or park a vehicle near dead trees. Look up the trails and if the wind really picks up, head to a clearing out of reach of any trees that might fall.
Burnt Stump Holes/Root Chambers: Burnt stumps can create rather obvious large holes, but these holes may actually be larger. In many cases, the fire may have passed through the root cavities and consumed the woody root material, leaving empty cavities where the solid wood was. Over time, these root chambers will collapse. The weight of a person’s body or vehicle on the root chambers can cause them to collapse, potentially opening a hole. Large trees have particularly large root chambers which can also be very deep. Be especially careful after rain, as moisture can penetrate root cavities and facilitate collapse.
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