31 Photos - Jun 1, 2013
Photo: Looks harmless enoughPhoto: Just a few trees, no fire danger here... right?Photo: Wrong!
Here is what lies beneath that benign appearancePhoto: All it needs is a spark.Photo: Close up of broom to canopy fuel ladderPhoto: Plenty of tinder and a fuel ladder to the crown.Photo: Eucalyptus trees surrounded by a dense thicket of French broom, another invasive fire hazard. Broom provides a fuel ladder to the eucalyptus crown.Photo: Picture of the first tree, from the opposite side, with a better view of the fuel ladder.Photo: Even lone trees within this broom thicket can support crown fires.Photo: Nearby homesPhoto: Not even the Broom grows around the base of the trunk. One lone poison hemlock managed to grow there this spring.Photo: This lone tree won't be a fire danger for another 20 years.
Cut it now or cut it later?Photo: Closeup, showing how the bark and branches naturally stack like kindling, making a near perfect fuel air/ratio for optimum combustion.Photo: Close up of how the bark, leaves, and branches form air fuel structure that is perfect for starting a fire.Photo: This picture really highlights how the combination of French Broom and Eucalyptus park work together to provide a highly flammable floor and onderstory.Photo: This picture shows how deep and dense the thicket is.Photo: The French Broom is already ladder to the canopy, but the way the eucalyptus bark is suspended within the thicket makes it even more dangerous.Photo: Bark and leaves suspended in the broom thicket, next to barren area around the base of the eucalyptus.Photo: When these shallow rooted exotics fall, their bark comes off in strips. Perfectly stacked to carry the flame to the dead trunk.Photo: This will make a good hot fire under the eucalyptus canopy.Photo: Looking onto the eucalyptus grove from the native oak stand next to it.Photo: There is a couple of inches of leaf litter on the floor under the oaks.Photo: Another picture of what the canyon can look like without the invasives and exotics.Photo: Notice how the native forest resists the spread of French broom.Photo: A few nearby oaksPhoto: Nearby oak and redwoodPhoto: Interface between native oaks and the eucalyptus/broom.Photo: Looking at the eucalyptus grove from the native stand of oak right next to it.Photo: Native floorPhoto: Native woodlandPhoto: The creek by Claremont across from Alvarado.