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Thread: Control Burns

  1. #1
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    Reputation: GatorB's Avatar
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    Control Burns

    Just found out our trail system is getting a U.S. Forestry controlled burn. Has any one been threw this? Some folks are upset but I think its a great opportunity for a few much needed re-routs and putting in new trails. Im kinda stoked about it. It will be like a rebirth of a tired old trail.
    14' Vassago VerHauen
    [URL="https://m.facebook.com/pages/Spruce-Creek-Mtb-Trail/572082766223954"]

  2. #2
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    Reputation: evdog's Avatar
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    Quite often they will gather up wood debris, pile it, and later burn the piles. Less frequently they will broadcast burn an entire area. Either way it is to reduce fuel load to lessen the chance/impact of a catastrophic wildfire during dry season. If it's just pile burning it won't really affect your trails much. If it's broadcast, then it will clear out the brush and really open things up for a year until things start to grow back. Good time to do re-routes if needed, however its also a time when people will create B-lines and shortcuts that are undesirable. The Forest Service often keeps an eye out for new unauthorized trails after burns or fires, and they are easy to spot (as are existing unauthorized trails). A burn is definitely not the end of the world, but it will change the forest which some people don't like.

  3. #3
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    So much is dependent upon the fuels (downed and standing, plus litter and duff) present, and the timing of the burn. Burn objectives dictate what conditions (fuel moistures, wx) and desired effects would be. I have seen desirable and undesirable outcomes in trails effects. If you end up with a high # of understory tree kill, you can foresee saw work and wind fall for a while. Sometimes old root balls burn out leaving craters. Other times, rocks move and come crashing down from above. Hey, instant new obstacles! I think the positives for potential forest / stand health far outweigh short term negatives. Be watchful for erosion side effects in the winter following- and also look for old trails / roads being uncovered by the opening up of understory.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
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    Here, evdog is right. They contract out the burns and get reports about unauthorised activities. Burning undercover is the aim. After a forest burn the mood of a ride changes, At first it is kind of sombre, but after a week or so (when the smell passes) you get to rip the living crapper out of trails that were disguised by grass and scrub before. You can also see contours, outcrops and features in new ways, not least of them being trail threats, like hangups etc.

  5. #5
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    Its a broadcast burn. USFS does it a lot here in central Florida its just been a long time for this area. New trails take for ever to cut threw the super thick under brush but after a burn you can cut a new trail in days rather than months. Super stoked and getting my tools ready.
    14' Vassago VerHauen
    [URL="https://m.facebook.com/pages/Spruce-Creek-Mtb-Trail/572082766223954"]

  6. #6
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    Control burns can be problematic

    One of my favorite trail areas is the Buffalo Creek trail system. Tons of sweet single track that is ranked super high on the list of "must rides". The landscape is either thick forest or completely burned from 3 previous large fires. Since the area was hit so hard with Forest Fires, the USFS has been doing prescribed burns. Do a little searching on news articles for the end of March 2012 and you will see that here on the Front Range of Colorado we had a prescribed burn get out of control and led to a 4,500 acre file that killed several people and destroyed a bunch of homes. Most of these burns are fine but it only takes one to get out of control and you end up with destroyed areas that take decades to come back.

  7. #7
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    Well they just postponed it to next year.
    14' Vassago VerHauen
    [URL="https://m.facebook.com/pages/Spruce-Creek-Mtb-Trail/572082766223954"]

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