Video: This Trail Will Never Be The Same After the Caldor Fire

Sep 8, 2021 at 8:51
by PEARL iZUMi  

Presented by PEARL iZUMi
Video and photos by Drew Boxold

POLLOCK PINES CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 18 2021 A CalFire firefighters dig containment line on the Caldor Fire near Pollock Pines California on August 18 2021. The fire has burned more than 62 000 acres destroyed homes and prompted the evacuation of over 7 000 residents. CREDIT Max Whittaker for The New York Times
A home burned by the Caldor Fire near Pollock Pines California on August 17 2021. The fire has burned more than 22 000 acres destroyed homes and prompted the evacuation of over 7 000 residents.
Wildfire photos published with permission from Max Whittaker. 'Soul Riders' was filmed a month prior to the Caldor Fire.

For brothers Dane and Zach Petersen, the trails are more than a place to ride—they’re an anchor to past and present. Mixing gold rush history and high-speed hijinks, a typical day for Dane and Zach could just as easily involve cutting logs as it does jumping them. Based in northern California, the brothers have a unique devotion to developing new trails in their local community, as well as dusting off ones soon-to-be lost.

The Caldor fire began on August 14, 2021 deep in the Middle Fork Cosumnes River drainage in El Dorado County. Over the next few days, the uncontrollable blaze exploded to over sixty-two thousand acres, taking with it the town of Grizzly Flats in the middle of the night. Thousands of people in the surrounding communities of Pollock Pines, Somerset, Pleasant Valley, Omo Ranch, and Fair Play would be forced to evacuate as the fire continued its rapid growth. The fire spread East across the County and burned through Kyburz, Strawberry, and Meyers. Many homes were saved, but over 800 structures have been lost. At over 215,000 acres, the fire will severely impact El Dorado County’s vast outdoor recreation opportunities, which are sources of pride for its residents as well as a draw for millions of annual visitors. The vast network of trails, alpine lakes, river canyons, and impressive mountainous terrain have been drastically altered. Many of the trails featured in this video were burnt by the Caldor Fire. It’s shocking that filming this video was the last time we would ride or see some of these trails the way they have always been for us. Some trails might slowly disappear, and some will live on; possibly better than before. That is part of a trail’s life cycle.

photo by Drew Boxold

photo by Drew Boxold
photo by Drew Boxold

Trails are living and breathing entities that grow and coexist with all other organisms in the forests. Over the years they may become straighter and wider with more traffic, or narrow and tight as the vegetation reclaims the corridor once again. The forces of nature erode the soil and combined with boots, tires, and hooves they expose more rocks and roots. Storms may drop trees on the trail and builders make the decision to either cut out the obstruction, reroute the trail, or even incorporate the log into a trail feature. Sometimes the log will never move, slowly decomposing as users walk or ride over it. Trails are not static; they are in a constant state of change.

Fire is another part of a trail’s life cycle, burning away the old and giving way for the new. Fire can remove the overgrowth, opening a trail once again. Or it may scorch the landscape, reducing everything in its path to ash. After a fire, numerous trees will fall on the trail. Sometimes there are too many trees for even the most committed trail user to jump over or cut out, and the trail dies. Fire also has power to bring our community together, to unite with one another rebuilding and reestablishing what we lost, whether it be the homes, businesses, forests, or trails. With the El Dorado National Forest severely underfunded, it is up to local trail users to repair the damage. If you’re looking to enjoy these trails once again, be prepared to pitch in and have some initiative. There are many avenues to support your local trails, but don’t wait for someone else to invite you out to go work. Grab your tools, friends, and go.

photo by Drew Boxold

photo by Drew Boxold

photo by Drew Boxold
photo by Drew Boxold

photo by Drew Boxold

With the recent California wildfires, the Caldor Fire, in particular, the of burning homes, communities, businesses, forests and trails has been heartbreaking. El Dorado County, where this video was filmed, is a damn cool place and Dane and Zach are proud to call it home. If you want to help and donate to El Dorado Community Foundation to support the families impacted by this fire it would certainly be appreciated by clicking here.


  • 45 0
 Here’s the thing…we tend to experience things in the moment, seasons, and then years. Forests tend to experience their life cycles in decades and centuries. So while we may believe that trees may never come back in certain areas, or that fires burn so hot they change the landscape, nature tends to be more resilient…it just takes longer than our frame of reference…or patience.

So while we can talk about mismanagement, loss, rebirth, how nothing will ever be the same as before…the areas we enjoy via the trails are always changing, always evolving…neither better nor worse, just different. It was there before us…it’ll be there after us…we’re just passing through.

As one who builds, if you truly enjoy it, a trail is never “complete” or “finished”: it evolves with the times and the environment…as will these…it might just take longer than some of us have the patience for…but they’ll be back and awesome as before.
  • 1 0
 Exactly, it's like parenting. You're not done when the baby is born, the work is just beginning.
  • 1 0
 This particular fire is only about 60% contained as of today.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: There's another factor why containment is so difficult, a shortage of wild land firefighters. I had no idea the pay for a USFS wild land firefighter was so shitty.
  • 5 0
 @chacou: We also send prisoners to fight fires, offer them early release, and then deport them! This dude was just a kid when his parents brought him over, they were poor and settled in a bad area that resulted in him making bad choices. He served his time, helped society (for $1 an hour), and then we kicked him out.
  • 1 0
 @PTyliszczak: oh yeah, our prison and immigration system is messed up. I recently read a story about the Governor of South Dakota getting a custom made desk by the state's prison wood shop and then stiffing them on the bill. The inmates get paid like $0.01 p/hr
  • 1 0
 @chacou: USFS firefighters have really shitty schedules and pay schedules. calfire peeps have it way better, id find it hard to want to work for USFS.
  • 3 0
 The whole "trees are gonna grow back" thing is complicated though. For example, this area (and others recently impacted by hot hot megafires) are actually labeled "replacement zones" in most new books, such as the California Field Atlas.

What this means is that the environment is being _replaced_ by something else. Not regenerating or coming back the way it was.

Specifically, the Pine Forests that burned with the hot Camp Fire... are not coming back as Pines. It's a replacement. It's expected to naturally grow back as something more fire-resistant such as Oaks.

Thanks PB and Pearl Izumi for shining a light.

(I've been personally impacted by wildfire, and sat on the recovery commission for a few years. Have amassed some great info, like this above)
  • 1 0
 @filmdrew: Came to make this comment. We don't have the rainfall in these areas that we did 100 years ago, which is necessary to support these forests, which is one of the reasons it's burning larger, hotter, with more frequency. Look at the lower elevations of the Western Sierra, and that's what it's more likely to look like in another 100 years. Springville, Three Rivers, Auberry...
  • 3 0
 It doesn’t work that way when the planets temperature is permanently hotter and rainfall is permanently reduce.
  • 16 0
 The whole situation sucks. But watching life come back to the trail after this is going to be incredible
  • 13 2
 Hopefully, there was recently a good article highlighting how hot these fires are burning in the untreated, overgrown, poorly managed parts of the forest and that it's turning areas that once were pine, fir, cedar forests into shrub land because the fire has burned so intensely and hot that those trees are not growing back. Meanwhile in the treated (ie: thinned) areas the fire burned less intense and allows more mature trees to survive, thus the forest can grow back. I regularly drive by the Hayman Fire burn scar here in Colorado front range and lots of it that was forest is just shrub land now. It's a shitty situation all around.
  • 2 1
 @chacou: Wow that is interesting. You would think though the unmanaged parts of the forest would be following a natural cycle, even if the size and frequency of the fires is not natural.
  • 7 1
 @PTyliszczak: The article pointed out that forest management policy was/is to stamp out any fire immediately, thus disrupting that natural cycle and then leading to these fires that when they get out of control, they're really really out of control and even more difficult to contain. I'm trying to find that article, I believe it was an LA Times piece. I'm not a firefighter, land manager, forestry tech, biologist etc. so I don't really know, just parroting what I've read and seen first hand. There are other burn areas in Colorado that I've seen that have recovered well though.
  • 1 0
 @chacou: Yup. And everyone thinks the best idea is to just plant a ton of trees in their place but usually forget that most forest service and fire agencies don't have bandwidth to manage it. They have to be strategic about how many trees to plant and where so situations like this are avoided in the future. We need a proactive approach to fighting fires, not reactive.
  • 1 0
 @chacou: same thing with the big fires on private land here in Oregon. The mangers planted too many trees and neglected to thin them properly.
  • 1 0
 @PTyliszczak: ah, here's that article. I've been reading a bunch of them so I maybe combining info from various sources
  • 3 0
 @chacou: Just north of the Caldor Fire was the 2014 King Fire, where the forest is just gone – undergrowth and all. Even the 1992 Cleveland Fire area has trees not much bigger than Christmas trees. The forest around here takes a long time to recover, and I doubt the Caldor Fire will be any different. These are the repercussions of disregarding forest management for the last 70 years.
  • 4 0
 @chacou: One of the main reasons that forest fires are so bad here is there have not been enough small natural fires, which clears out shrubs and other small plants and gives the trees a chance to get some immunity to fires (their bark gets thicker). Another reason is there are a lot of invasive plants which help the fires burn hotter, here is an interesting article:
  • 4 4
 @anaughtymouse: actually the repercussions of the industrial revolution and climate change. You can treat the symptom or the cause, your choice.
  • 2 1
 I agree with all of the above. While mankind did not invent lightning, we are certainly responsible for the breadth and intensity of modern wildfires.
  • 1 0
 @Sethsg: Thanks for sharing I'll check that out. I just saw a similar article in that journal as well
  • 1 0
 @chacou: Thanks that is an interesting article, I have lived in Africa most of my life and there they practice the other extreme, they light fires each year in the dry season to burn off all the 10ft high bone dry grass. The only problem is they do this so regularly that there is literally no dirt only sand because all of the dead stuff gets incinerated and has no chance to rot.
  • 8 0
 @iSawThat: you mean both? Trying to blame this solely on climate change isn't going to get us anywhere. Its a factor, yes, but years of fire suppression is a huge part as well.
  • 1 0
 @Sethsg: I spent some years in west Africa working with agricultural communities. Slash and burn has its benefits and drawbacks. But unfortunately the widespread use of it these days due to the size of human populations is seeing the effects of deforestation, erosion, soil degradation and loss of natural habitat for many species.
  • 5 17
flag pelopidas (Sep 10, 2021 at 10:42) (Below Threshold)
 @iSawThat: These recent fires are not burning hotter and more aggressively because of "Climate Change" and the "Industrial Revolution"; they burn out of control because of mismanagement initiated by myopic environmental activists. This while more and more affluent humans move into the beautiful forest lands, with ever more mechanized toys, and vast increases in forest visitors, many of whom are not in the least educated on responsible forest behavior (Covid has exacerbated this). If Humans are going to live in high-fire-risk areas, the managing authorities have to do their jobs. But they do not. We spend millions and billions on administrative positions and ridiculous NEPA studies and there's little many left to pay the people who might actually do some good with a strong presence with feet on the ground in the forest.

It's worth noting that when these fires happen (human or lightning caused) the CalFire firefighters do a fine job protecting structures, and they frequently succeed in halting a fire at towns and populated areas. The USFS on the other hand — and this is borne out by any casual glance at the fire footprints — has a policy of letting fires burn and trying to "manage" the fire, as the USFS policy for the past 50 plus years has been "try" to allow fires to burn "naturally".

This is a loosing strategy, IMO, as the elimination of logging in the 90s has made such a policy yield only disastrous results, as we are witnessing these past few years. Whatever one thinks about climate change, it is not occurring at so rapid a rate that fires should be worse now than they were in say the 80s, when California had summers as hot as they are this past decade. Drought coinciding with heat this past 10 years has certainly exacerbated the more directly man-made problems resulting from bad forest policy. But climate and weather are unpredictable for the most part. Last year's (2020's) fire season was sparked mostly by dry lightning storms.

What is needed is a new approach to fire management ("the definition of insanity..." and all certainly applies here).

First, Federal and state governments need to allow targeted logging in our forests, especially those that have been neglected.

Second, the USFS needs to try to put fires out ASAP and not adhere to the now failed strategy of letting fires run their course for the "health of the forest".

Third, state governments like California need to spend tax dollars to follow a plan like the one that current gubernatorial candidate John Cox — politics aside (he's not my guy) — has suggested, viz. that we keep (and maintain for ready dispatch) an air armada that can be deployed within an hour to any hotspot in the forest, which is now possible with satellite technology. It is irresponsible that we do not have this already.

In 2018 and 19, Gavin Newsom promised $5 billion to address fires in California (according to a scathing NPR article — NPR, mind you! — which is no enemy of Newsom and his party, Newsom has spent just 10% of that promised response), and instead we have seen inane policy affected in the state — things like bathroom conversions to gender neutrality (i.e., ripping urinals from the walls in men's bathrooms on state university campuses, and government buildings in general), and the like. We, in all of our leisure and affluence, fight over stupid things, and meanwhile nature and the worst forces in the world are going unchecked, and none of it is due to climate change as our politicos insist. Climate change has become a convenient scapegoat for negligent governance.
  • 10 0
 @pelopidas: Before going on and on about environmental activist take a step further back in time and talk about the massive clearcuts that altered the forests to stands of dense trees with little no biodiversity or resilience to the historical fire regimes.
  • 7 0
 @pelopidas: you know not of the world of you speak. Log off of facebook my friend.
  • 2 0
 @erikvehmeyer: take a look at this article:

this area was managed, despite the many comments here that say it wasn't. How much of the forest were they supposed to burn on purpose so it didn't burn on accident?
  • 3 3
 @iSawThat: I do not and never have been on FaceBook. I just read and try to look at things objectively.
  • 6 0
 @pelopidas: Dude these are some very bold claims. Where did you get the information to form your opinion you need to back it up because otherwise, it is a dumb ranting argument that falls on its face before it even gets to its feet.
  • 2 1
 @pelopidas: What we're dealing with is the result of 100 years of suppression and failed management. Logging is not a cure-all. Case in point: some of the hottest fires in Northern CA burn in areas that have been previously logged. Why? Because years ago, USFS held a shitload of timber sales, and we logged holy hell out of NW CA. Subsequent administrations have systematically cut the USFS budget, and environmental groups have systematically sued, oftentimes correctly as USFS tried to sneak "extra value" (i.e. old growth) trees into thinning projects. These and other factors have made it nearly impossible to perform large-scale management on a scale that befits the large-scale destructive logging that occurred in the late 20th century. The result is that the forest is dense, brushy, and dry. The perfect combination for a crown fire that will move fast and destroy everything in its path.

So yeah, some logging is part of the solution. So is burning. Pre-contact, some 4 million acres burned in CA every year. The tribal elders talk of times when you could see through the forest because the brush and small trees burned every few years, leaving an open canopy without enough ladder fuel to get to the crown.
Maybe those times are coming back?

My prediction? This is what we have for say, the next 5 years. The intensity of fires gradually decreases as the accumulated fuel load burns off, firefighting moves to structure preservation, and we learn to live with a more natural fire cycle.

Read this. Written by a friend who knows what she's talking about, unlike us.
  • 3 3
 @mmarkey21: Are those the options? Clearcut or nothing? You can do a little better than that, mmarky21. In California, where drought aggravated Bark Beetle tree mortality is particularly bad right now (other states have experienced similarly, cf. Colorado), things could have been managed much better had logging companies been allowed to go in and thin forests, incentivized by — aghast! — profit, things would likely look much different. In parts of the forests of the Sierra Nevada that have been managed by private interests, there are islands that went unburnt because trees were able to resist flames burring at considerably lower temperatures, and thus gave firefighter a fighting chance.

Of course the Caldor Fire was not in a part of California that was hard hit by Bark Beetle (though tree mortality, while not as bad as 30 miles south is indeed a factor), but the basic premise of my post remains apposite.
  • 1 3
 @Sethsg: which are the "very bold claims"? The part where I say that the problem is mostly with forest mismanagement (clearcutting decades ago, and no cutting for the past 20 plus years), or the part where I say that this is not — I repeat not — a problem due to climate change? Or the part where I say that promises from our governor have not been met? Which claims need citation? One can do a quick search and find well-reasoned, credible evidence for my main point, which is that post hoc, climate change scapegoating is not a valid argument.
  • 1 3
 @iSawThat: Further, what, iSawThat, exactly are your credentials for forestry? — for fire science? Maybe it's you that ought to stay off of FaceBook, etc. Some of us have spent countless hours working in our forests and have close relationships with the USFS, CalFire, and fire science programs, and have colleagues in environmental studies (heretofore forestry) departments at some of the best schools in the country/world. Accusations in place of reasoned dialogue are not way to improve the situation.
  • 2 1
 @rollingdip: Fair enough. I never intended to imply that clearcutting was or ever could be a viable solution. But the exact opposite position — no logging at all — has brought us in no small part to where we are now. For what it's worth, I agree with most of what you say in your post.
  • 1 0
 @pelopidas: I never said clearcutting or nothing were the options. As a natural resources professional I'm well aware of the need for proactively managing forests and that harvesting and thinning forests is one of the tools in the toolbox. If you had any sort of reading comprehension you'd understand that I'm simply stating that your claim that environmentalists and mismanagement got us into the mess doesn't look at the whole history. Much of these forests were clearcut which led to the generally degraded state they exist in right now and sparked the environmental movement.
  • 2 0
 @rollingdip: Lenya knows here stuff! I used to climb with her husband back in my Humboldt days.
  • 1 2
 @mmarkey21: What you say is no doubt true about some fires, but the vicious fires presently under discussion are not the result of clearcutting — which I think we all agree is mostly bad policy — but are the result of the combination of factors, not the least of which is the heavy-handed influence of shortsighted environmentalists and their legal challenges to viable forest management. Fires like Caldor, last year's Creek Fire, and Dixey are not to my knowledge burning through formerly clear-cut forests (I have pedaled through each those forests for decades, and have volunteered many hours in them). The fires under discussion are burning through forests with old growth trees, that until a few decades ago were responsibly logged and managed, and were also far less populated.

In any case, my main point is that "climate change" — however it may be — is not the driver of these fires (not yet, at least), though it is held up as a primary narrative — by posters such as iSawThat, to whom I directed my initial comment, and politicians, who fail to do what they promise. No, climate change is not responsible. Rather it is mismanagement. Heavy-handed, politically charged environmentalism is just the most recent chapter in a long story of a series of episodic mismanagement.
  • 2 1
 @rollingdip: Your friend Lenya Quinn-Davidson's essay is beautiful, and impassioned, and full of much truth. Unfortunately and fortunately we no longer live in that primeval world of pre-European contact. Instead we live in a world where we fortunately get to rip around the woods on $7000 mountain bikes, and less fortunately have to share roads with side-x-side razors and the like. A world where GPS allows less expertise needed to engage the forests, and far more people using and misusing previously far less trodden places. In such a Brave New World we need to devise new management systems and policies (using what worked for millennia, and employing new cooperative approaches). Everything, of course, depends on cost/benefit analysis — we have to come to terms with requisite trade-offs. I would hope that mountain biking in the forests would not be one of the trades we have to make. I enjoyed the essay a lot. Thanks for the link!
  • 2 0
 @pelopidas: I call burden of proof
  • 5 0
 Heart, Soul, Love and dedication. We appreciat you guys and the people that work with you. thank you for building exceptional trails!
  • 12 9
 Idk who needs to hear this, but blaming global warming for forest fires year after year is ignorant and disingenuous. There are articles stretching back to 2017 calling out the severe state of our forest overgrowth, and how the lack of proactive forestry management is contributing to an environment that will spawn more and more firestorms.
Is global warming real? Absolutely. Is it causing these fires? Nope. The majority (and we're talking 95%+) of the wildfires we've had in the past two years are from negligence or arson. Sure global warming makes conditions more primed for fires, but to blame global warming is to ignore our part in prevention.
Before you downvote or ignorantly call me anti science, please view the content below.
  • 9 3
 I would have to disagree. I understand your perspective and actually don't think it's necessarily wrong, I just think it's slightly narrow focused. The environmental changes that have occurred in California over the last few decades surely indicates climate change. One can easily see this with increased water shortages, record heatwaves, flash flooding and even driving past Shasta lake and mountain right now. The forests that once used to get an appropriate amount of moisture and nutrients are shrinking due to these greater environmental factors. Drier, unhealthier forests are basically then a tinder box waiting for a spark. That spark could be naturally caused or human caused, but the issue of climate change, especially in California is much deeper than how these fires started, it's the results of the conditions of the environment that allowed these fires to occur so easily and spread much more rapidly.
  • 4 8
flag TotalAmateur (Sep 10, 2021 at 10:40) (Below Threshold)
 @Jackhowser: ok, again I'm not denying climate change. I even blatantly said that I absolutely believe it's real. my point is that nobody has a good solution for climate change, other than 'force rich people to pay more' or whatever, but bottom line there isn't an agreed upon immediate solution. I don't think that's a contentious point to make, the greatest scientific challenge right now is how do we mitigate further impact without completing disrupting our socioeconomic balance.
My point is that there is something we can do, right now, every day, about the overgrowth and forest mismanagement.
So if we have two courses of action, one that is potentially years away from physically materializing, and the other we can begin enforcing tomorrow if we wanted, why wouldn't we act on the immediate plan?

Honestly insisting that these fires are from global warming is actually dangerous because we're refusing to acknowledge the input we are having due to our involvement or lack thereof, and leaving the door open with our inaction for these fires to happen again.
  • 3 4
 @Jackhowser: "the results of the conditions of the environment that allowed these fires to occur so easily and spread much more rapidly." That is exactly the argument for more government proactivity. For going on 4 years scientific publications have been calling out this threat, so my point is that we're doing TWO things that contribute to the wildfires but we only ever discuss the more popular ONE talking point that is global warming.
I think the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate there is a greater correlation between climate change and these wildfires, than overgrowth mismanagement and arson.
From my point of view if we were managing the forests better and lifting some of these restrictions on private brush abatement, we would immediately reduce the risks of lives being ruined lost. Sure we'd still have arsonists and global warming, but neither of those are as easy a fix as the other option.
  • 4 1
 @Jackhowser: If we're speaking of how wide our focus may be, consider the other elephant in the room: the Sun, solar weather, and how these affect weather, volcanism, and seismology. It appears there is a long term solar cycle made up of the current 11 year cycles we are all aware of. At the bottom of that long term cycle is solar minima.

This is currently NOT the popular "think" amongst the unwashed, but it's not out of nowhere either. Below are some links. One beomg a paper on the correlation between solar activity and large earthquakes. An interesting quote from one of these is...

"But unlike during the Maunder Minimum, there’s a twist this time around; we modern humans have another cosmological factor to contend with: Earth’s magnetosphere –a key line of defense against incoming Cosmic Rays– is waning at an increasing rate as north and south magnetic poles continue their wander.

The field is expected to be considerably weaker by 2040, and, as with previous magnetic excursions/reversals, these events can lead to an uptick in volcanic/seismic activity, solar outbursts, and even the onset of ice ages."

Global Cooling? NOAA Confirms ‘Full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum

On the correlation between solar activity and large earthquakes worldwide

ALL of the above are factors. @TotalAmateur is correct to point out the lack of care being taken regarding forestry as are you (@Jackhowser ), but we also need to remember that Earth does't exist in a protected bubble. Forces withing the solar system are in play and possible affecting the Earth in ways normally not talked about on morning talk shows.
  • 3 4
 You're focused on treating the symptom rather than the cause. Why is CA so dry? Why has the snowpack decreased over the last 40 years? Why are we in a drought?

We have take on the main cause.

Sure, we can improve how we operate and do preventative measures in recognition of our climate scenario, but to blame the fire not doing enough mitigation is the disingenuous part. You can cast blame and want to recall newsom, but he's not blame for this. These large fires happened before he was elected and will happen when he's gone. The blame is with you, me and everyone else who contributes to climate change.
  • 3 2

"Sure, we can improve how we operate and do preventative measures in recognition of our climate scenario, but to blame the fire not doing enough mitigation is the disingenuous part." can you not read? I said climate change is very real, but WE DON'T HAVE A SOLUTION!! So what are we going to do wait year after year until it's solved and just roll the dice on how many lives are lost.

"You can cast blame and want to recall newsom, but he's not blame for this" except he literally is, if you're actually curious you can see how here

"The blame is with you, me and everyone else who contributes to climate change." I agree, which is why I stopped flying. But I'd argue there is more blame with those who choose only to discuss part of the issue in which they can't affect, and ignore the parts they can change.
  • 2 1
 @BDKR: thanks for the links that was good info.

and yes my main point is just that we're essentially taking the first easiest answer and saying "Dyatlov did it, blame him" and not looking any further, and in the meantime we're getting prepped for a second Chernobyl.
  • 1 2
 @iSawThat: do we have a plan for the cause? not one that can be implemented in the next year or even 5 years.

do we have a plan for the symptom. yes.

End of discussion.
  • 4 2
 @Jackhowser: Your analysis is too much post hoc reasoning. You say, "One can easily see this with increased water shortages, record heatwaves, flash flooding and even driving past Shasta lake and mountain right now."

Here are the realities: California's population has doubled since the last time a reservoir was built. So, water shortage? Yes, of course. Climate change? Maybe, maybe not. California has gone through dryer spells than this in human memory.

Many of the heatwave records are just slightly greater than earlier records (1930s, and most recently 1984), and heat measuring stations have been enhanced and relocated, so the the idea that we have heat records is not proof that we are witnessing climate change before our very eyes.

Flash flooding is in many cases the result of burned areas (reasoning is circular), and there is no evidence that there are more flash floods in California than in earlier decades. Maybe you don't remember them, but wherever flash flooding is high risk, it has been a historical problem, excepting recent burn scars (see above).

I have wondered what has happened to Shasta and Oroville reservoirs. Might it have something to do with letting too much stored water flow into the Pacific Ocean?

Climate change, to the extent it is affecting California, is not something we can just stop. The worst violators are China and India, and they do not plan to slow down their economies for compliance with a Paris Accord or the like. If we are going to have to live in a warmer world, which I concede may well be the case, then we need policies to address that circumstance. Grumbling about the climate and trading carbon credits is not going to do it. This is a policy problem; scapegoating the climate is not going to solve the problem of these fires or much else.
  • 1 1
 @iSawThat: btw you have yet to prove that any of the wildfires were CAUSED by global warming. 98% of the wildfires over the past 3 years were caused by either negligence or arson, so ya, really curious where you're getting any information to say that global warming is the CAUSE and not just a factor.
  • 1 1
 @pelopidas: don't bother trying to reason with them, they love having corrupt officials in office and any evidence you provide will be ignored and downvoted so their ignorance can be preserved. it's easier to just blurt out "gLobAl WaRmiNG" and not change anything about your life.
  • 1 1
 @TotalAmateur: No, climate change isn't the cause for the initial spark*, but it's the reason they get so big. Because the forest is a dry tinder box. Check the rest of the world who is also experiencing similar wild fire problems.

* - except for when it does, check also increased lightening storms.

Honestly, are you trying to troll by posting stupidly?
  • 1 1
 @iSawThat: you are consistently pulling "facts" from your a**.
The forest is a dry tinder box largely in part to the fact that year after year, despite the desperate pleas for action from environmental bodies and forestry services, our government does NOTHING to abate brush and mitigate a potential burn. Do I really need to link all of the sources again for you or can you just go to my other comment?
You have yet to provide ANY proof for these claims. And please tell me where in the rest of the world they're experiencing fires due to global warming, and not rampant mismanaged overgrowth.....I'll wait.

SO again, you have NO PLAN for how to curb global warming, nor any evidence that it actually CAUSES fires despite saying that global warming is a cause not a symptom. So you have no evidence, nor action plan. YOU COULD RUN FOR GOVERNOR!! lol
literally nothing you have said changes the fact that Gavin nitwit isn't doing anything he could/should be doing, and that we should be focusing on what we CAN immediately affect, and not what will take 15 years of research to even begin to solve.
  • 1 1
 @TotalAmateur - what a fitting screen name. Love it. @totallyclueless must have been taken.
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 @TotalAmateur: " our government does NOTHING to abate brush and mitigate a potential burn. "
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 @iSawThat: really, do you really believe that there are increased incidences of lightning storms? There is not a scintilla of evidence to support such a claim. The only evidence is the opinions, loud and frequent, of those who want to attribute every occasional weather phenomenon to climate change. Nor is there evidence that climate change, rather than seasonal weather fluctuations is the "reason" fires are growing "so big".

Is climate change happening? Yes. Is it anthropogenic? An objective answer falls somewhere within the realm of plausibly and maybe, with definitive "no" and a definitive "yes" being outlying extremes. Climate "science", after all, is based on models, and as with all models, the data used to build the model determines — in part — the data the model produces, which by definition is not, sensu stricto, Science. Models can, of course, be predictive. But science is empirical and requires a controlled/controllable and reproducible environment, which the earth with all of its variables is most definitely not.

By profession I am an historian, and, as it happens, an historian of, inter alia, science. I know science well, both good and bad — better than many, if not most, scientists. I know of no evidence showing that whether of any kind is more severe now than it has been in the past. Might it get more severe in the future, as a result of climate change. Possibly, maybe even probably, if the models predicting as much are correct. But one thing is certain: Climate changes. That is why we call it climate.

Climate means change. It comes from the Greek word klinein (κλίνειν), which means "a thing that leans variably" (e.g., a ladder), and this is why we use the word in geography and cartography for topo maps (i.e., declination North), because magnetic North is always changing. So, when someone says climate is changing, they are necessarily correct. But the speed at which it is changing has at most a negligible effect on forrest fires in the window of our narrow life experience.

And while we should be good stewards of our land, we should be wary of those who claim to "know" with certitude that increased "extreme" weather is due to climate change. And even if it is, there is little we can do about it, given that the worst greenhouse gas omitting offenders (viz. China and India), with their massive populations and stubborn reluctance to change, are going to keep on keeping on. Our best bet is to figure out how best to live in a warmer world on the assumption that it is coming. This means a serious reworking of policy for fire management, while still allowing responsible people to use our resources, because the policy(s) we are now using are clearly not working.

This will be my last comment on this, as it does seem that people are all too inclined (there's that word again!) to condescend rather than dialogue earnestly to learn from one another.
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 @iSawThat: ahh ya attack the person not the content. you're so enlightened. based on your response and the substance of the article you linked I can see why your handle isn't @iReadThat lolol
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 @iSawThat: holy shit do you not realize that this supports my claim???!?! ROFL
the first sentence is literally my entire point: "In order for the spread of the 117,000-acre Caldor Fire to stop or to be suppressed by firefighters, something will have to change — either the weather or the fuel."
Since it may take 10+years to put a dent in the climate change dilemma, do you think we should address the fuel or the weather first? The article even states that the brush abatement measures that I'm saying we should engage in more often, had the intended effect of slowing the fire and reducing the amount of embers produced.

did you even read your own source? Just admit that bleating 'climate change' like some corporate drone was a stupid thing to do. You're embarrassing yourself.
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 @pelopidas: "really, do you really believe that there are increased incidences of lightning storms? "

Good question and point, I don't really think that, poorly written on my part. I should have written "check also increased impact from lightening storms." In our current climate, lightening fires quickly get out of control, like last year's Complex fires.

Love how as a historian you can know more about science than many if not most scientists. Super convenient and useful!

As an economist and data analyst by profession, as it happens I study, among other things, history. I know history well, both good and bad — better than many, if not most, historians. ;-)
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 @iSawThat: If interested in History, then it may behoove all to note that weather tends to get it's ugliest during solar minima.

And how can we begin to believe that mankind is the cause of earth change (see what I did there) when there are earth and solar cycles that are far longer and more powerful than anything we've yet concocted.

AND throw a weakening magnetosphere into the mix.

Why is everyone ignoring the link between sun activity, seismology, volocanism, a fire?
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 @iSawThat: 'data analyst by profession'
but you couldn't even read an article enough to know that it defeated your argument and supported the one you were trying to defeat. lol.
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 @TotalAmateur: it didn't.
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 @iSawThat: except it really did. don't worry, Gavin won so we have a whole new year of wildfires, negligence, and corruption to look forward. Yay dumbocrats!
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 @TotalAmateur: what is the 4th word from the ending period in the excerpt you quoted above?
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 @iSawThat: don't care. you and everyone that voted to keep our corrupt governor are on the same side of history as every other tyrannical leaders puppet. #bootlicker
  • 2 1
 @iSawThat: do you mean the word "weather". Now even you know that weather in not climate. And California's weather patterns are pretty normal when compared with historical norms. California is Dry Mediterranean proximate to Alpine, SubAlpine, and Dry Chaparral, Steppe, and Desert. It has been the way that it is for tens of thousands of years.

Climate "science" predicts that weather patterns WILL CHANGE (note the use of the future tense). There is only anecdotal opinion that weather HAS CHANGED (note the use of the perfect tense [action completed in the past and affecting the present).

Look, it's pretty clear you're out of your league here and are trying merely to "win" an argument at any cost. ("what is the 4th word from the ending period in the excerpt you quoted above?" Give it a break! You sound like a 7th grader.)
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 @iSawThat: still missing the point btw, we can't control the weather as easily as we can the overgrowth. so why focus on the long term plan and ignore the short term? Why not do them both? Oh ya bc without the fires, Gavin can't ask for emergency funding, which he then deals out to private interest lobbyists like those that work for/with PG&E, who in turn pay cash back to the lobbyist and Gavins wifes 'charity fund'. and you say you're a professional analyst huh? God help your clients/employer
  • 1 1
 @pelopidas: You're right, I'm out of league, I'm dealing with a historian who doesn't believe in climate change and knows more than most scientists. Your point that the climate in California hasn't changed, and that "science" doesn't agree on climate change is interesting. So what league am out of? League of denial?
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 @TotalAmateur: "still missing the point btw, we can't control the weather as easily as we can the overgrowth. so why focus on the long term plan and ignore the short term? Why not do them both?"

Same response as I wrote 9/10.
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 @iSawThat:rofl ok so now you're just switching sides entirely, after saying I'm 'treating the symptom not the cause' and never being able to provide proof that wildfires are directly CAUSED by climate change.......ya you're totally right lol.
and homeboy isn't denying climate change, he's telling you the difference between natural cycles and human influenced. damn you're thick.
"analyst" lmfao
  • 1 1
 @TotalAmateur: I'm not talking about the spark that ignited the fire. I'm talking about the reason for the cause of the of the mega fires and overall situation. Pull your head out. Regarding 'analyst' - you wouldn't even be let onto the campus bro
  • 1 0
 @iSawThat: well do you not understand what the word 'cause' means then?? 'the reason for the cause' again, climate change is not the cause, it's an aggravating factor. Arson has been noted as the cause for the majority of the fires. Pull your head out bro.
And again the overall situation is made worse by nitwits that focus on factors like global warming in which there is not immediate course of action, and ignore the obvious immediate course.
You have yet to prove that climate change causes wildfires instead of making them worse, or demonstrate a counter to my suggestion that we need to focus on both plans and not just one. bc all you've done is made an ass of yourself and flip flop into semantic oblivion.

And ya from the sounds of it, it sounds like a really exclusive community college.
  • 11 4
 Forest fires suck.
  • 12 0
 Lol, I guess the one downvote is someone who likes forest fires??
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 @OCSunDevil: We definitely need prescribed burning. Having 100 years of underbrush built up is making these fires massive.
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 @HB208: Yeah, I was more referring to huge out of control fires that burn houses and kill humans/animals. I didn't expect that to be a controversial statement.
  • 2 6
flag TotalAmateur (Sep 10, 2021 at 8:31) (Below Threshold)
 @OCSunDevil: if you're working for PG&E or you're tight with Gavin, then ya forest fires mean big $$$ for you and friends.
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 @HB208: expecting responsible resource management from the current governor is a joke.
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 @OCSunDevil: There are a few arsonists in every group.
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 @TotalAmateur: There needs to be funding. I imagine it will come soon.
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Mountain Enterprises has entered the chat.
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 @HB208: dude california gets so much funding every year, but we keep rewarding poor action and planning like letting major cities go to shit so we keep needing more and more money to keep up with our bad decisions.
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 @hellanorcal: not sure who downvoted my comment but I guess a lot of people in this thread are in favor of politicians stealing money from the common wealth for personal gain. it's very easy to research and find the money trail, google "The French Laundry Connection" and you'll get a full rundown of how the local government profits from forest fires.
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 @TotalAmateur: I know dude, local governments definitely profit when the entire town is burned down.
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flag TotalAmateur (Sep 10, 2021 at 11:38) (Below Threshold)
 @HB208: they do when they pay out PG&E who started the fire, then pay lobbyists through that payout, then request funding for the houses that were burned down, and never give the money to the people afflicted.
your imposed sarcasm actually shows how uninformed and ignorant you are.
Do you even research any of this or just assume daddy Gavy has your best interests in mind? I swear some people would walk willingly into the gas chamber.
  • 1 0
 @HB208: just in case you want to understand how far on the wrong side of history you are.......20$ says you won't watch the videos and stay ignorant.
  • 2 0
 So sorry for the loss of structures and trails. We dealt with massive trail loss in Santa Barbara after The Thomas fire and mudslides that followed. I remember feeling like our trails were gone forever and was so heartbroken. In the end, the trail communities came together like never before and after a few years almost every trail was brought back to life. Y’all seem to have a dedicated network of trail stewards and I’m wishing the best for the future of your trails.
  • 4 0
 Don't be sorry. These fires are huge because we have been overprotecting humans and structures that don't really belong there at the expense of the natural world.
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 In late June we drove through the first big wildfire of the year in north Reno, then Dixie started up in early July, then it was late July as I watched out my window from work while the Tamarack fire burned. Then Caldor started up, jumping the hill, mere miles from where we live.

Today is the first day without wildfire smoke since the beginning of July, but it’s probably a temporary reprieve as Dixie snd Caldor continue to burn.

I love riding my mounts bike, we live here for the trails, the lakes, the mountains, the trees, but when you can’t even walk to your car and breathe safely, when you all the beauty is consumed by smoke, it rapidly becomes a trap.

There were tremendous losses this summer, individual, families, communities, and wildlife. We’re not safe, perhaps we never were, but now it’s plain to see.

Trails are just a means to an end, they only exist here because people built communities here.

Don’t forget this ^, the people who live here and the communities we’ve formed are what matter most. When you all return to our communities, be respectful, responsible, snd understanding.

Now is not the time to be in Tahoe unless you live here.
  • 1 0
 A lot of the classic South Lake trails have been impacted by this fire also. Toad's, Corral, Armstrong Connector, Christmas Valley, etc. Here is a link to TAMBA (our local trail organization) and also an article briefly explaining the situation:
Luckily the firefighters did an amazing job in the basin protecting most (if not all) people's homes.
  • 1 0
 Props to everyone at TAMBA. They do an awesome job. Lots of work to do in the coming months.
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 I love videos like this showing the passion we all feel for riding. It is sad to see these trails and forests gone and changed forever, and scary to watch the effects these fires have on those in its path. But I'm grateful for the builders and those who document these trails. I always watch these getting excited to go ride, so it's kind of weird to watch it with an historical eye on the landscape and the trails that were so familiar to me.
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 Thanks for not divulging trail names. That area is/was, depending on intensity of lost due to the fire, one of the last lightly populated trail areas in the area. Sad to see it burn, but the fuel load up there is so intense, a fire of this magnitude was inevitable.

The trails will be rebuilt. The forest will grow back, but maybe not in our lifetime to the same grandeur it existed prior to the fire. Life goes on, but our world is changing, and we either accept it, or change our habits to help offset the change. That might mean riding local trails more often and rather than hoping in our gas guzzling rigs to drive 2 hours to ride more distant trails.
  • 1 0
 As someone that lives in an area that was evacuated by both the king and Caldor fires I don't have anything to add about that but I am looking for places to ride other that trail 8 and around the lake. I recently found Park Creek but I'm sure there is much more so... Help Smile
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 I miss trail peek
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 well, no comment. you all know so much on this subject.... but I will say this article is just more flame bait
  • 2 0
 The article doesn’t touch on the management or the multitude of reasons for the fire. It’s more about the trails and how they were affected and looking forward on how they will be restored.
  • 1 0
 Can you delete your own comment?
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