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RichardK

Chino Hills State Park

From the fire maps on the internet and from what I can see, Chino Hills State Park is completely burned.  
My wife and I have hiked that park for the last 14 years.  Maybe the deer and coyotes were fast enough to escape the flames.  Everything else must be dead.  
The grasslands will recover with the winter rains.  But, I will not live long enough to see the old growth oak and native walnut trees again.

















lilbitmo

Your Message is Touching

RichardK,

I've spent many a day out there as well. It breaks my heart that when I come home every night for the next 6 months to a year all I will see are the burnt hill sides of one of the closest parks to where I live.

I'm grateful that my family and our home was spared but sad for the damage done to all the other families homes and our percious wildness areas.

Yesterday was a trying day, I was climbing Baldy watching the Sylmar fire grow thinking to myself what a shame (I started at 5 AM so I was fairly high up early on) when I got 100 feet short of the summit and turned to realize my own (Yorba Linda) neighborhood was ablaze. Needless to say I made it home a fast as I could.

It sad that we have individuals whom find pleasure in lighting fires for whatever sick reason they do it.

Let's all home that nature brings back the beauty of the Park sooner rather than later.

Thanks for posting Richard

Lilbitmo
Tim

Wow, sad news about CHSP. I've hiked Telegraph Canyon several times so I remember those old oak trees. I also spent many, many weekends flying my RC gliders at Glider Pointe off of Rimcrest. It was sad when they started building houses at the bottom of the hill, now the whole place is burned up.

Btw, very nice pictures Richard.
Taco

I hope everyone in the area/s is OK, you guys out there.

My buddy's family was evacced outta Diamond Bar. I might help with volunteer stuff at Diamond Bar High School (where I went to school) tomorrow after work.
Mike P

Huge tracts of Chino Hills State Park have burned in the past and the area seems to bounce back quickly. I can't recall, however, if a fire has ever completely burned the Telegraph Canyon portion of the park. Our biggest hope is that the fire went through quickly. The walnut trees are fairly quick to recover, thank goodness; the oaks may take a little longer. Does anyone know if the park headquarters survived?

I grew up in those hills. In the late 70's/early 80's my family was active in 'Hills for Everyone' which was the group that pushed for the land acquisition for the state park. So those hills are near and dear to me...
cougarmagic

Those pictures are beautiful.

The worst part of these fires is that they are not natural, and they shouldn't be happening.  People like to say that fire is a part of the ecology here, and that's true, but not this often, and not this severe.

Still, I remember going on a guided hike at Placerita canyon after the last fire there (which was only a couple of years ago).  The ranger was very cheerful and relaxed, and I just thought he was some kind of idiot, since I was nearly in tears at the total devastation.  There was nothing green, anywhere.  It was bare ground, and black stumps.  He went on to explain so many things on that hike - how many of the plants regenerate from their roots, which don't usually get damaged by the heat, how many of the animals are able to escape, and how quickly everything would come back with rain.  He was not completely depressed, because he had seen it recover before, and knew it would again.

I also saw CHeeseboro and Ahmanson burn - and the first spring, there was a lot of green, but it looked pretty bad still.  The second year, you could hardly tell.  There were only a few blackened branches and trees here and there.  Almost all the oaks survived and re-sprouted.

The grassland fires don't crush me like they used to now that I've seen this.  I just hope i never have to see the forest burn - I love the pines so much, and they really don't grow back in a lifetime, if at all.
Hikin_Jim

Great photos, Richard!

Fires aren't my favorite for exactly the same reason that many have already spoken of -- the trees.  I hike in Griffith Park frequently, and I've seen trees bounce back after being thoroughly blackened.  I hope that happens in Telegraph Canyon.

Pines don't bounce back after a severe fire.  Anyone who has hiked up to Ontario Peak can attest to that.  The Ontario Peak area burned in 1980 (IIRC) , almost 30 years ago, but the forest has never recovered.  Sad
Bill

It's somewhat of a parodox in that the health of our forests depend on fire to regenerate itself.  That being said, it is understood that human development near the forest precludes allowing natural fire regeneration to occur.  So that when an ignition source does occur(from some knucklehead with a disgarded cigarette) the consequences are magnified.  So what is the solution?  Do we limit access to our beloved forest?  I'm sure none of us would support that idea. And unfortunately we can't control other peoples stupidity! Rolling Eyes
    Part of the answer has to include control burning to remove some of the naturally occuring die-back of native brush (which lowers fuel moisture) and chapparal species so that when a fire does occur there is not the tremendous fuel loads that complicate and intensify fires, making them difficult to control.  
     Another problem is the well meaning protection of certain areas (fairy shrimp, speckled frogs etc.)to the exclusion of even fire suppression equipment including bulldozers.  Ironically this will lead to the demise of these species, since fire will race through these areas unchecked. Rolling Eyes
AW

Sounds like if you grow everything back, then its just helps burn everything one more time...and I am not afraid to bring it up again, because I know the media will eventually(as they pretend to care), but what role does self-responsibility play here as well.....Im not happy with bailing out million dollar homes that have zip brush clearance.....and at what point do we realize this stuff is going to repeat and repeat? Im not playing favorites here as I think Griffith Park/Verugo Hills needs a master plan that backs up all these open space ideals and not just being a place to burn and body dump/drug paradise.

It seems to me that the fire service wants to let the fire burn...lets just end all the discussion then and burn what needs to be burned...can we burn anything so we can spend more effort preserving open space? Not to mention several ideas mirred in government and taxpayer reluctance..

http://www.ocregister.com/article...-state-county-2198945-year-orange
simonov

Before you get too upset, you might want to go there and see what remains.

I drove through the Grapevine on Sunday past burned areas in Sylmar and Santa Clarita and while all the grass was burned up, a lot of the live oaks seemed none the worse for wear.
Bill

AW wrote:
Sounds like if you grow everything back, then its just helps burn everything one more time...and I am not afraid to bring it up again, because I know the media will eventually(as they pretend to care), but what role does self-responsibility play here as well.....Im not happy with bailing out million dollar homes that have zip brush clearance.....and at what point do we realize this stuff is going to repeat and repeat? Im not playing favorites here as I think Griffith Park/Verugo Hills needs a master plan that backs up all these open space ideals and not just being a place to burn and body dump/drug paradise.

It seems to me that the fire service wants to let the fire burn...lets just end all the discussion then and burn what needs to be burned...can we burn anything so we can spend more effort preserving open space? Not to mention several ideas mirred in government and taxpayer reluctance..

http://www.ocregister.com/article...-state-county-2198945-year-orange

Yeah, I think I hear you.  No matter what happens, we end up footing the bill and paying the price.  The OC register article talks about all the higher ups defending their efforts of preparedness.  The reality of it is you could spend billions of dollars on fire protection  and the result is going to be pretty much the same.  We are basically at the mercy of the  winds! Shocked  People will rebuild in the same dangerous areas, and people will be complaining because we can't protect them! Rolling Eyes  My point is that people want to live right at the edge of nature in the urban interface but balk at taking minimal steps to  Confused mitigate the danger, and then complain when things go bad!
Funyan005

I'm hoping these images dont come out too big, but this is from the fire. I live in chino hills and spent all night watching it, came pretty close! Parents were packed up and ready to leave, but it was voluntary only all night.

From the first day...in the state park clearly


To give an idea how this fire moved. This is sunrise the next morning


Those hills are the same hills, just the picture is a little bit facing to the left.

Various other interesting shots. Mandatory evactuations for these folks






neat picture


last but not least, on the right where that car is on the hill there is a housing development, flames were moving quickly up that hill, firefighters stopped it tho!
Funyan005

resizing photo's kills quality, sorry!

Oh, and I'll try to get a better before/after shot :p
Hikin_Jim

Yow!  Good albeit horrifying pics.  I take it that the garage of the "mandatory evacuation" house is on fire in that photo?
Funyan005

Nah, the firetrucks were all along the street there, thats just a firetruck in the driveway hah.
But I was watching people evacuate, as the firefighters were ripping shrubs and pulling everything away from the houses that could possibly ignite the house if a spark hit it.
Was intense to watch, I helped a few people carry shit to their cars :\
JMunaretto

Hikin_Jim wrote:


Pines don't bounce back after a severe fire.  Anyone who has hiked up to Ontario Peak can attest to that.  The Ontario Peak area burned in 1980 (IIRC) , almost 30 years ago, but the forest has never recovered.  Sad


Holy hell. I didn't realize that happened so long ago!
asbufra

I also hike in Chino Hills SP almost every week...use to anyway. It is easy to see how this burned, with acres and acres of dry brush and the wind. It is really a shame, but I don't see a solution, short of putting in a sprinkler system.

This view is of Four Corners.

CHINO HILLS SP SPRING 2008

On Saturday Chino Hills Park was closed due to High Fire danger (who would have guessed), so I went to Baldy. The photos are from Baldy.

CHINO HILLS FROM BALDY

When I left home there was a small fire near Green River..and as you can see by night the fire streached the length of the park. My guess is the fire moved 15 miles from noon to 5:30 at night, probably more.

This view is from one of the switchbacks below the ski hut.

CHINO HILLS FROM BALDY
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