Wednesday, November 19, 2008

First Look Post Tea FIre: Parma Park, Cold Springs Trail, Rattlesnake Cyn

*At the time that these photos were taken the fire was 100% contained. 100% contained does not mean 100% out and therefore there were hot spots and smoldering areas on or near the trails. The effects of these hotspots could be felt in the lungs when hiking on these trails- hike/ride at your own risk, hike/ride only in open areas, and do not hike/ride off trail in the burnt areas. At the time of this post Parma Park and Rattlesnake Canyon are both closed until further notice. Cold Springs is open unless we hear otherwise.

Parma Park- The night of the fire I stood at the edge of Mtn Drive where it meets Parma Park and took a few photos(see older posts). I returned to that same spot to four days later to see the after math. Parma Park got burnt from one end to the other leaving almost no plantlife alive. Most of the oak trees either are completely black and dead or appear to be badly singed.

I then entered the main entrance off 192(which was open at the time these photos were taken 11/18) and walked up the fire road a bit. The hillsides were bare and sadly areas previously not visible now could be seen. These hillsides are now at risk of sliding more easily when winter rains comes since no plant life is there to absorb it. Parma offers an excellent view of the surrounding areas and really allows you to see the devistation that this fire caused. Surpisingly many of the homes that seemed to be right in the fires path were left standing. At the time of this posting Parma Park is closed.

Parma Main Entrance

Parma Overview from W. Mtn Dr.(Permission to enter this area by SBPD)

West Mountain Drive

Parma Trails

Parma Fire Road

Parma Hillsides and above W Mountain

Picnic area still standing!

Cold Springs Trail- Of the three trails affected, Cold Springs had the least amount of damage. The fire primarily stayed to the west of Cold Springs Cyn due to the winds and from the help of fire fighters. The lower part of CS Trail up to just past the West Fork seemed to be the only affected areas. At the time that the photos were taken the West Fork was still closed.

Cold Springs Trail Head(west side of creek)

Cold Springs Main Trail where the fire stopped

Phos-Chek coated sign at the juncion

Phos-Chek coated rocks in the creek from aircraft

Warning at the W Fork

Tea Gardens

Hillside above West Fork(note- the fire did not continue up towards Tangerine Falls or the trail to Gibralter)

Rattlesnake Canyon Trail- The Lower part of Rattlesnake was burnt up pretty good. The fire burnt down the hill from the monastary up to St Marys Seminary and down the canyon a few hundred more yards. For about 1/4 of a mile the trail is burnt on both sides really leaving the trail in a unrecognizable state. From that point up until the next creek crossing the fire primarily stayed on the east side above the trail. It does not appear that there is much if any damage past the second creek crossing except on upper hillsides. This trail is closed at the time of this posting.

Rattlesnake Trail Head

St Marys Seminary

Rattlesnake Trail(photo taken from adjacent property)

Fire Fighters still working hot spots in RS and Skofield Park

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