Forest Fire at French Creek SP- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Forest Fire at French Creek SP

    Started yesterday (4/9/12) during the high winds and very low humidity conditions. Per Reading Eagle newspaper still not under control as of this morning.

    Article: Brush fire rages at French Creek

    Wind-whipped flames from a huge brush fire were threatening homes and businesses - including a fireworks factory - in Berks and Chester counties late Monday.

    The fire, which started shortly after noon and was estimated to involve thousands of acres, primarily in French Creek State Park, was still raging out of control late Monday in Union Township in Berks and North Coventry Township in Chester.
    This is from the pics in the Reading Eagle article, it looks like the fire area covers some of the uphill from the Shed Rd parking lot to the power lines, and the Mill Creek Trail from where it splits off from the road back to where it crosses the streams. That is some rough terrain back there.

  2. #2
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    Forest Fire at French Creek SP

    Pretty much under control and out. Just a few flareups. I work in Morgantown and was talking to some firefighters from out of the area at 6AM and they were heading back to their stations. Burnt a bit over 40 acres.

  3. #3
    The White Jeff W
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    Missed the fireworks factory tho

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8_t4yFHZQqc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    No moss...

  4. #4
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    Was just up there riding on Good Friday. The area is dessicated and in much need of rain. As of 12 p.m. on Tuesday the 10th, they're reporting that the fire is 80% contained.

  5. #5
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    Rode there this past Thursday. Never saw that place drier this time of year. Great to ride, but not at any expense.

  6. #6
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    Follow up from Reading Eagle: Forestry officials get brush fire under control

    Interesting quote:
    Although the worst of the fire is over, the containment efforts will continue until the fire stops burning, Frassetta said.

    "We will not have it extinguished until there is significant rainfall," he said. "We could go on for another week. We're actually baby-sitting.... Just pray for rain."
    "Under control" and "extinguished" are not the same thing.

  7. #7
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    Forest Fire at French Creek SP

    As of this morning the tv news listed the fire as 90% out but still burning in spots. Over 500 acres burned. Rain can't come soon enough. Such a shame.

  8. #8
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    The real shame is that man has stopped the fires for so long, and now they are more destructive than they should be. Fires used to be nature's spring cleaning.

    Sent from my VS910 4G using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Anything on the East side of 345 will be closed for awhile, this is the Mill Creek White/Red trail side of FC. The other side of 345 is completely open including all campgrounds and lakes.

  10. #10
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    Its up to 540 acres this morning... major bummer

  11. #11
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    ^ yes write up in this morning's Reading Eagle says there are 50 people still working on containment 'round the clock:

    Firefighters continued working around the clock Wednesday at a huge forest fire centered in French Creek State Park and straddling Berks and Chester counties.
    ...
    About 50 firefighters strengthened containment lines around the fire, which has been mapped with GPS and measures 540 acres, according to Glenn Bell of the Delaware Incident Management Team of the state Bureau of Forestry.

    Tanker planes and helicopters continued to drop water on the fire area. Crews widened and constructed containment lines to a width of 8 to 10 feet, removing all burnable materials from the line.
    Link: Crews continue work to contain wildfire

  12. #12
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    so the trails down into the valley across from 345 and shed are closed off? that would suck.

  13. #13
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    One more write up from the Reading Eagle: Hopewell Fire out, but still a threat

    And a map of the burn area, slightly south and east from initial mappings:

  14. #14
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    I was there yesterday and they said the fire is out and ALL trails are open. I didn't ride the area where the fire was so don't know what the conditions are like.

  15. #15
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    Rode red/white yesterday, through the chard area.

    The trail is intact, while either one side or whole area is burnt...kinda surreal.

    A couple of spots were iffy at speed; I ripped it going down, and it was tough to follow due to re-routing or downed trees. I love that descent...very happy it was still rideable.

    As mentioned before, forest fires are a naturally occurring phenomena. Thankfully, no one was hurt. I didn't hear that anyone had lost their homes.

  16. #16
    West Chester, PA
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    Thanks for the report. Hoping to head up there this weekend.

  17. #17
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    Any other updates?

    Was thinking about heading to French Creek SP for the first time this weekend and was wondering if it'd be a dissappointing trip.

    Also, is there enough trail to make a whole day of it? I was kinda thinking do a north side loop, take a break, then do the south side.

    Thanks for any input!!!

  18. #18
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    No worries... just fun, all trails were in great condition a week ago. Depends what shape you are... 20-30-40 miles ride, from 3 to over 6h enjoyment.
    ReCycle

  19. #19
    West Chester, PA
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    Was up there last saturday. Some items were uncovered by the fire fighting efforts. Found this 7-up bottle dated 1960 right off the red/white trail. Took it home and looked online to see what its worth. Turns out they made a few million of these and its only worth $2


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    ...Took it home and looked online to see what its worth. Turns out they made a few million of these and its only worth $2
    That's still a kinda cool momento... I'd clean it up and keep it above my workbench or something. Too bad it wasn't a coke bottle... it'd probably be worth double ;-)

  21. #21
    West Chester, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow View Post
    That's still a kinda cool momento... I'd clean it up and keep it above my workbench or something.
    Thats exactly where it is. With some rare beer bottles.

  22. #22
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    Nice follow up article, things sounding optimistic: Devastation to regeneration - 2 months after wildfire, vegetation and hope sprout at French Creek

    The Reading Eagle's coverage of this entire story has been very nice!

    Some highlights:
    Charred tree stumps and hazard warnings remind French Creek State Park visitors of one of Pennsylvania's biggest wildfires.

    But there are signs that the forest is springing back to life two months after the fire.

    Burned trees are sprouting green leaves. Native species are returning and providing food for animals like mice and deer. But the real test of the forest's future will happen over the next year, said park manager Eric Brown.

    . . .

    The April fire, ignited when a tree fell on a power line, burned 741 acres at French Creek in Union Township. Fueled by dry conditions, high winds and downed brush from October's snowstorm, the fire quickly spread.

  23. #23
    Nickel Havr
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    Some great pics here from the guys on the "front line"...

    741 Acres Burn in French Creek State Park - Twin Valley Fire Department
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  24. #24
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Thanks Eck,

    I sent a thank you to the fire fighters...
    ...if anyone would like to do the same here is the e-mail
    [email protected]

  25. #25
    Nickel Havr
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    Thanks Eck,

    I sent a thank you to the fire fighters...
    ...if anyone would like to do the same here is the e-mail
    [email protected]
    No prob!

    My dad is a govt-contracted firefighter and sent me the link...
    I went up during the whole ordeal with some cases of Gatorade and some snacks for the guys...

    French Creek is pretty much my back yard... They saved my home trails!
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

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