The Forest Service opened the West Fork of the San Juan River yesterday with strict warnings of safety problems in the burned area. I posted the article and prepared for a hike.
See a new video of the West Fork fire here. Matt Johnson spins an epic tale of the beauty of Pagosa Country at first and then the fire explodes to life. Thanks Matt, this is awesome.
See the photo in expanded format here.
On the trail it is clear the fire burned down the drainage and to the edge of Borns Lake. The firefighters did an amazing job of stopping the fire before structures were involved.
It ain’t pretty, but in a way it is still magnificent. There is a combination of fallen dead, standing dead and ash. Many trees didn’t burn but the fire baked them dry and are now dead. This area could easly burn again!
Look at the ground. Areas like this can be very dangerous as the fire smoulders underground burning roots and buried wood. Some areas have no support and a hiker can fall into a still burning pit.
Abby and Kathy, your tree made it!
Right now it is not safe to hike in more than a couple of miles. This is just the edge of the fire area and it is sure to be more drastic on up the trail.