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SoCal PCT: 13 years, 85 fires, 41% of trail burned

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SoCal PCT: 13 years, 85 fires, 41% of trail burned

Postby postholer » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:06 pm

Does Southern California PCT seem like the dregs? It's not your imagination. 41% of the trail has burned in the last 13 years.

Here's what we've gleaned from the plethora of fire data out there. Starting at year 2000, within the first 500 trail miles:

Year / Number of fires / Trail miles burned
2000 / 4 / 0
2001 / 3 / 0
2002 / 10 / 48
2003 / 8 / 49
2004 / 8 / 21
2005 / 5 / 1
2006 / 11 / 15
2007 / 18 / 15
2008 / 3 / 2
2009 / 2 / 47
2010 / 6 / 4
2011 / 3 / 0
2012 / 4 / 3 (fire year in progress)

13 years, 85 fires, 205 trail miles (%41)

Fires counted were on or close to the trail. Burned trail mileage was taken when the trail was within a fire perimeter or the trail was part of a fire perimeter.

-postholer :cry:
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Re: SoCal PCT: 13 years, 85 fires, 41% of trail burned

Postby oops » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:38 pm

Thanks for the info. I was shocked by the amount of charred forest seen in southern CA during my thru in 2012. Wasn't a single day you don't walk thru some blackened stretch. It doesn't seem sustainable to me. I was predicting in my trail posts there won't be any forest down there in 20 years, just 500 miles of continuous desert. From your numbers, seems the forests would need to be regenerating at a rate of 32 years to keep up with burns. Is that possible in the arid environment? Many of the trees I saw burned were on order of 100 year old. Just this week thinking about the issue, I couldn't recall traversing much, if any, young forests areas sprouting up to replace the burns. From this midwesterners perspective, that isn't gonna work so well.
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Re: SoCal PCT: 13 years, 85 fires, 41% of trail burned

Postby markv » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:14 am

It felt like an even bigger difference from 2008 to 2013, but i guess 50-some new burn miles is enough to be noticeable. Any updates for the 2013 fire season? I guess it's a little too soon...
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