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rramblings

New Jersey Pine Barrens

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I wanted to include some photos I took on a trip to the Stafford Forge area of the Pine Barrens on route 539 south of Warren Grove in late 2008 and early 2009, and then post some pictures of the same area from a trip this past weekend. So I created a new topic. Or is there a nature photo section that I missed? Anyway, first the 2009 photos, taken 19 months after the Warren Grove Fire. Note the open cones on the Pines. As you may know the cones on this species of pines, only open after a fire. I believe that some may be Pygmy Pines. The shot of the open cones was taken in August 2008. See the Pinelands Preservation Alliance for more information. I have been in the Pygmy Pine Plains, they are really something. Tyler

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And now for some photos of this same area taken on August 26, 2018. Near Stafford Forge south of Warren Grove on Rte. 539. Note the closed cones. I could be wrong, but these pines, new growth since the fire, seem to be taller than the pygmy pines. Perhaps a pitch pine. Fire does change a landscape. And yes, in spite of our best efforts lots of bug spray and taking showers first thing when we came home we came back with unwanted guests. A few chiggers around our ankles. Nasty things. Tyler

 

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Tyler,

It is too bad we cant time lapse the progression of the pines along 206 near Atsion State Park from where the area was just after the wildfire.  I'd guess 10 years ago, might have been longer.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Rainshadow said:

Tyler,

It is too bad we cant time lapse the progression of the pines along 206 near Atsion State Park from where the area was just after the wildfire.  I'd guess 10 years ago, might have been longer.

 

 

Agreed. I am not as familiar with Route 206 in the Atsion State Park area though we have been on that road at least once in the last 3 or 4 years. I checked my old blog articles from ten years ago, and saw reference to a fire, known as the Sauders Ditch Fire  that burned near Hammonton NJ in late October 2008, burning about 1,800 acres or so and shutting down Route 206 for a time. See this Star Ledger article from October 23, 2008. Tony, I don't know if this was the fire you were referring to, but it is the one that came to mind when I read your post.  If my geography is correct, the Sauders Ditch fire burned near the Atsion Village Recreation area.

We do go to the Pine Barrens at least once a year, always using the same route, and it has been wonderful to see the area burned by the 2007 Warren Grove Fire come back. The images of the charred landscape that we saw in the summer of 2008 along Route 539 are still with me, but when we drove that same stretch of road (we did not do so this year) a year or so ago you would not know by driving by that the area had burned in 2007.

Tyler

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Here are some photos taken at or near the same location on Rte 539 near Stafford Forge, south of Warren Grove, NJ. For a point of reference the Warren Grove Fire burned this area in May 2007. I took copies of my photos and added some text on each photo with the location and the date the photo was taken. This should give you an idea of the post fire progression of pine growth after the fire. Photos should be in chronological order with the photo taken in Jan. 2009 at the top, ending with a photo I took this past Sunday, August 26, 2018. Tyler

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2 hours ago, rramblings said:

Agreed. I am not as familiar with Route 206 in the Atsion State Park area though we have been on that road at least once in the last 3 or 4 years. I checked my old blog articles from ten years ago, and saw reference to a fire, known as the Sauders Ditch Fire  that burned near Hammonton NJ in late October 2008, burning about 1,800 acres or so and shutting down Route 206 for a time. See this Star Ledger article from October 23, 2008. Tony, I don't know if this was the fire you were referring to, but it is the one that came to mind when I read your post.  If my geography is correct, the Sauders Ditch fire burned near the Atsion Village Recreation area.

We do go to the Pine Barrens at least once a year, always using the same route, and it has been wonderful to see the area burned by the 2007 Warren Grove Fire come back. The images of the charred landscape that we saw in the summer of 2008 along Route 539 are still with me, but when we drove that same stretch of road (we did not do so this year) a year or so ago you would not know by driving by that the area had burned in 2007.

Tyler

Yes that was it and it was a lucky guess on my part as to how long ago.  I remember Jack O'rdille from Hammonton was still alive then (He formed stormvista, sadly he passed away way too young. :( ) and I remember him telling me how bad the smoke was on an inversion morning that October. 

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1 hour ago, Rainshadow said:

Yes that was it and it was a lucky guess on my part as to how long ago.  I remember Jack O'rdille from Hammonton was still alive then (He formed stormvista, sadly he passed away way too young. :( ) and I remember him telling me how bad the smoke was on an inversion morning that October. 

I believe it was smokey conditions from the Saunders Ditch fire that shut down Rte 206 for a time overnight on the Thursday night of the fire into that Friday, and schools in Hammonton may been closed on Friday as well. At least that is what I wrote on my blog, referencing a report on a now defunct wildfire forum.

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6 hours ago, Rainshadow said:

Yes that was it and it was a lucky guess on my part as to how long ago.  I remember Jack O'rdille from Hammonton was still alive then (He formed stormvista, sadly he passed away way too young. :( ) and I remember him telling me how bad the smoke was on an inversion morning that October. 

Tony, checked out some of my sources, those that are still online and recalling some conversations with a couple of my friends from the NJFFS. I think that the area burned by the Sauders Ditch fire had a lot of peat. If memory serves, peat can generate a lot of smoke and peat fires can be a dog to fully extinguish because the peat can burn underground for awhile. Tyler

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My pilot friend took me, a non-pilot aviation enthusiast flying today. We flew to the NJ Pine Barrens. In the first photo we are in the Pine Barrens approaching Coyle Field (NJ Forest Fire Service Air Base. The next two photos are over the burn scar from the Spring Hill Fire that burned 11,000 acres in Penn State Forest in the Pine Barrens. Yes there are lines of trees that the fire did not burn. I have heard that may have been due to the characteristics of the winds when the fire was burning. I posted some aerial photos I took on a flight with my pilot friend several days after the fire in a an early April 2019 blog post. If you read my blog post you will read a quote from the NJ Forest Fire Service with their explanation about the winds. 

I have driven on some of those sand roads approaching Penn State Forest and  walked on others in another area of the Forest. A special forest were there are some dwarf pitch pines.

The fourth photo is of Coyle Field with the burn scar in the background.

The last photo are of some interesting rectangles. Anyone know what they are?

Tyler

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