Barrens of fire

onehand

Explorer
Apr 11, 2005
374
0
16
potter co. pa.
warren grove should be closed, shooting up a school, setting the pine barrens on fire. enough is enough

there is not enough room in nj for that type of military activity

what is it going to take to shut it down, a school bus full of student to be "mistakenly bombed"
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,116
176
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Galloway
I'm tempted to agree, onehand. 30,000 acres of burnt pinelands in 5 years is enough. Some real idiocy, if I must say so myself. But to be honest, if they close down the range only to develop it, I would be infinitely more upset about that than about these idiotic mishaps.
 
Oct 25, 2006
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warren grove should be closed, shooting up a school, setting the pine barrens on fire. enough is enough

there is not enough room in nj for that type of military activity

what is it going to take to shut it down, a school bus full of student to be "mistakenly bombed"
I thought after the school was strafed in 04 that it would be closed,imagine,no more deadly force signs,gates,i recall a 6' high barrier blocking the road coming from stage road,access,access,reopening alot of areas to reexplore.The government owes the state imo a huge sum of money,they still have not paid up for the bear swamp hill tower.
 

KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
6
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
I am unfamiliar with the effects of fire in the PB. I do know that it is necessary to some degree to sustain the environment. What impact does it have on the wildlife? Do most animal sense the danger and move out of the area?
 

Badfish740

Explorer
Feb 19, 2005
589
44
28
Copperhead Road
I am unfamiliar with the effects of fire in the PB. I do know that it is necessary to some degree to sustain the environment. What impact does it have on the wildlife? Do most animal sense the danger and move out of the area?
Well, I hope I'm not opening up a can of worms as Bob alluded to, but basically fire is important for a few reasons. Controlled burns are usually conducted to burn off detritus on the forest floor periodically. The rationale behind this is to have a few small fires instead of one big one. The small fires will get rid of the tinderbox that builds up over time, making for a low temperature fire that will open serotinous pine cones, allowing them to germinate, return nutrients to the soil, etc... Trees usually recover easily from these types of fires as only the outer bark burns. It's not uncommon to see a tree with a trunk that's blackened up to about 3 or 4 feet from the ground with healthy green needles above the fire line. However, when the junk on the forest floor is allowed to accumulate over long periods of time there can be very hot and destructive (pine cones and trees are totally destroyed) fires which do not help. As far as animals, they seem to have a sixth sense about these things, so depending on how fast the fire is moving, etc...I think they usually clear out.

That being said, this was no controlled burn, and warm winds were blowing fire all over the place. While I think the pines will recover I don't think that this will be considered one of the more "helpful" fires. Also, has anyone heard this nonsense theory:

The Jersey boys had a nice little blurb about this today. Some quad riders came across a area of the woods that was blocked off with signs saying heavy tick infested area. The thought it was weird went in and found boxes with Bio hazard stickers on them with tubes going into the ground and brown viles inside of them. The looked around saw cameras so they left where stopped bye army card got freaked and booked. Apparently the pictures went to the Asbery park press and they are going to release a story. This was the day before the so called flairs started the fire in that same area.


I'm assuming that they're referring to the "Jersey Guys" who I like to think have a special place in hell reserved for them. I didn't hear the broadcast-this was posted over at www.the-jersey-devil.com
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,027
280
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Little Egg Harbor
Fire isn't necessary to sustain the environment, just to sustain the pine forests. Without it, natural forest succession would lead to a stand of mostly oak in our area. If the fire is hot enough to kill the largest pines as well as any oak saplings in the understory, the forest floor will be opened up to all sorts of other species that need an open environment, many of which are rare species. The pines will come back down the road.

As for animals, in nature habitat and populations are important, not individuals. Some individuals will be killed from a fast moving fire, but the habitat for many species will be greatly improved for years after the fire. A few that need mature forest will decline due to it. The biggest result from a fire is change, not destruction. Precsribed burns don't result in most of these effects. They just reduces fuel and makes wildfires harder to start and easier to stop. Also, human life and property must be taken into account when dealing with fires, not just ecological considerations.

Take these basic principles and toss in the question of whether the fire was natural or man caused. The plants and animals affected don't really care, but it adds one more point to debate when setting management goals. In the end, there will be people complaining no matter what is done.
 

Boyd

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Jul 31, 2004
6,922
1,212
1,093
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I'm assuming that they're referring to the "Jersey Guys" who I like to think have a special place in hell reserved for them.
I heard that on the radio. Then when GermanG made the following post it seemed to ring a bell...

Walt, along with several graduate students, has been managing and mapping threatened and endangered plant habitat there. They've also been radio monitoring T&E snakes on the base.
The quote you posted above is just a summary. As I recall, they said the ATV riders were confronted by a group of soldiers with some kind of instruments who asked them what they were doing there. When the riders asked the soldiers the same thing they said they were studying endangered snakes.

Regardless, the whole story sounded pretty bogus...
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
243
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
Fire isn't necessary to sustain the environment, just to sustain the pine forests. Without it, natural forest succession would lead to a stand of mostly oak in our area. If the fire is hot enough to kill the largest pines as well as any oak saplings in the understory, the forest floor will be opened up to all sorts of other species that need an open environment, many of which are rare species. The pines will come back down the road.

As for animals, in nature habitat and populations are important, not individuals. Some individuals will be killed from a fast moving fire, but the habitat for many species will be greatly improved for years after the fire. A few that need mature forest will decline due to it. The biggest result from a fire is change, not destruction. Precsribed burns don't result in most of these effects. They just reduces fuel and makes wildfires harder to start and easier to stop. Also, human life and property must be taken into account when dealing with fires, not just ecological considerations.

Take these basic principles and toss in the question of whether the fire was natural or man caused. The plants and animals affected don't really care, but it adds one more point to debate when setting management goals. In the end, there will be people complaining no matter what is done.
This sums it up nicely. Just wanted to add that the seeds in the pine cones of some pitch pines don't open until confronted with severe heat (like an intense fire) the pines have historically been subject to wild fires in geological history. The trees where this fire occurred (the plains) are theorized to be the result of severe wild fires over long periods of time.

Jeff
 
Oct 25, 2006
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I'm tempted to agree, onehand. 30,000 acres of burnt pinelands in 5 years is enough. Some real idiocy, if I must say so myself. But to be honest, if they close down the range only to develop it, I would be infinitely more upset about that than about these idiotic mishaps.
Turn the range into a preserve if it is closed,no need for a development.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,027
280
1,063
Little Egg Harbor
In my opinion the housing and commercial developements wedged into the pinelands and in the path of the fires are the problem, not the ignition source of the fire. I can think of three decent sized fires off the top of my head started at the range, but many, many more started by other sources, including the two largest ones in recent history, the 92 and 95 fires. The strafing accident was a serious incident, but look how many people are killed on our roadways vs. how many civilians have been killed by the base's activities (none?). Deal with incidents but put them in proper perspective.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,307
2,001
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
I consider you a knowledgable person Bob, I'd like to hear your views.
Kind of you to say that Chris. I love the pine barrens, and the plains are a very special place for me. They are clean and fresh, and remind me of a pristine desert in some ways. The other boys said it well. They need good hot fires to remain the way they are. If you don't have periodic hot burns the oaks will take over eventually. The forest service has a policy to immediately put every wildfire out, regardless of the local conditions that day. I disagree with that philosophy. That trailer park is in a bad place. If it must remain there, give it a big buffer and let the pines be as they are and stop fires only in order to save lives and property.

Now, with that said, was I worried during the 95 fire close to my house, when 20,000 acres burned? I was only worried for my family and other people of course. Would I change my way of thinking if my house burned down during a big one? Maybe. But maybe not. Its a difficult thing to wrap my mind about.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,353
94
1,028
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camden county
I think the same way as you Bob. Glad you expressed your opinion, now I know their is someone else on my wavelength. Oh, and after 393 posts you guys can call me chris.
 

BEHR655

Piney
Feb 19, 2003
2,710
5
1,018
Merchantville, NJ
www.behr655.smugmug.com
A friend and I took a ride out to the fire scene this evening. We went down 72 to 539 and headed toward the parkway. We saw a lot of areas that looked like controlled burns. We came to one area of scrub pine that was burned very thoroughly though. We then turned down Stafford Forge Rd and saw more controlled burns. We then turned onto Rt 9 and headed back to Rt 72 and went west. We started to see more burned areas so we turned left into the Brighton at Barnigat development. We saw that the fire had melted some siding on some houses and I guess it was the community building had some fire damage. We drove through the development and found a dirt road that led into the Pines. It was amazing to see the extent of the fire and how close it was to the homes with relatively little damage. Here are some shots of the Pines behind the development.











Look closely at the second shot and you can see some of the houses.

Steve