Sunday, March 25, 2007

Crown of the Peavine Ridge Forest

This impressive stand of conifers guards the southern entrance to the Crystal Basin in Eldorado National Forest. Ice House Road marks the lower end of the grove. This stand is one of many survived the Cleveland Fire along the southern slope of Peavine Ridge. Here's what the U.S Forest Service had to say about these survivors:
Within the fire perimeter, a few areas of large trees survived the conflagration and the living trees stand in stark contrast with their surroundings. Activities that began some 13 years previous had made the difference. In 1979, about 150 acres near the Cleveland Corral Information Station had been prescribed burned with repeat burning in 1981. A 30 acre stand of trees was prescribed burned for a third time in the Spring prior to the Cleveland Fire. Amazingly, when the 100 foot tall flames burning in the crowns of the neighboring trees approached this stand, without the buildup of dead woody material on the ground, the flames dropped to the ground and left the larger trees alive (via
The fire grew from a humble five-foot diameter fire when reported to a crown fire that danced along the tree tops withing minutes on September 29, 1992. The fire claimed the lives of two pilots. It wouldn't be declared controlled until October 14 and burned 22,485 acres along U.S. Highway 50 in the vicinity of Riverton.

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