PICTURES: Mt. Diablo Slowly Recovering from the 3,100 Acre Morgan Fire

January 15, 2014 10:28 am · 14 comments

Just four months after the devastating fire that scorched 3,100 acres on and around Mt. Diablo, the blackened part of the land is starting to show some signs of life.

These pictures were taken over the weekend by our friend Victor Munroe, who tells us “I took a hike on Mt. Diablo over the weekend with a friend of mine to see some of the damage from the fire. It was great to see signs of life returning even though we have had such little rain fall. I also want to say a huge thank you to to all the volunteers who have worked so hard to keep the trails safe and accessible.”

Thanks for the pictures, Victor!

Please click on each picture for a much larger view.

RELATED STORY: CoCo District Attorney: Morgan Fire Update – No Criminal Charges Filed

{ 14 comments }

1 Cowellian January 15, 2014 at 10:36 AM

I understand that there are certain flowers that will only bloom after a fire. Mt Diablo should be beautiful this year.

2 AWoman January 15, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Beauty arises from fire–Mt. Diablo will be gorgeous this spring and summer.

3 nytemuvr January 15, 2014 at 11:01 AM

@Cowellian #
Fire poppies(red) and a yellow flower, blue flowers that I forget the names of right now.

4 Me January 15, 2014 at 11:22 AM

All we need is good rain for that whole area to be a wild flower paradise. And for all the trees seeds to germinate. Which will happen eventually. If we had had a regular rainy season so far it would look a whole lot better than this.

5 Dorothy January 15, 2014 at 11:23 AM

All that from just the cloud mist for water. Wonder what it would be like if they got real rain.

6 Clayton Squirrel January 15, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Bright side of the dry, dry winter: No mudslides in the fire areas yet.

7 Me January 15, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Actually imo it is bad. Rain so far would have brought grass that helps hold soil. As it stand, if we get a heavy rain watch out. Nothing to hold the soil.

8 Sacto Rob January 15, 2014 at 11:55 AM

@#1 Cowellian is right. A number of “chaparral” type species require the heat of flames in order to open their seeds pods and regerminate. Fire is part of the natural cycle of western lands. It’s only by surpressing the cleasing action of wildfires that fuel loads build up over time and we end up with devestating wild fires like last summer’s at Yosemite. Let forests burn every dozen years or so and smaller brush and sickly trees gets cleared out, leaving behind the big healthy trees.

9 Me January 15, 2014 at 12:17 PM

@ Sacto Rob. You are exactly right. However, we have built up so much in wild lands that is not an option anymore. Now we have to think about it. Controlled burns, other ways, letting wild lands burn like nature intended and needs to be healthy , even though it does lead to more devastating and intense fires that kill trees that would have survived if nature was still in balance, is not possible today in most areas. I have no clue what we can do now though? But you are right.

10 Silva January 15, 2014 at 2:26 PM

I took my grandson up North Gate to Rock City, and didn’t see much of the burn area. I thought I’d heard back then that the fire made it to there. So luckily we just hiked and climbed as we normally do. Where should we go to see the burn area?

11 Me January 15, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Google “Mount Diablo Burn area Map” and there are several maps that show the area burned in the Morgan Fire.

12 Silva January 15, 2014 at 3:57 PM

@Me; okay, thanks!

13 Shasta Daisy January 15, 2014 at 7:54 PM

I would love to go on a guided hike in that area sometime this spring.

14 Me January 16, 2014 at 6:57 AM

One thing is top soil. Sure land will recover in time, but an intense fire can do so much damage it can burn roots, seed, take away enough that with the wrong conditions like this year, lack of rain so far, lead to excessive erosion and top soil loss. I heard they were planting. Also I am sure doing other measures to help reduce the amount of top soil that could be lost in a heavy rain, but still. It is tricky how land is so fragile. Loss of top soil which is really not that thick in some areas can lead to a more barren landscape for even a thousand years in some cases. Especially on hill sides where there is no silt deposits. Or very slight silt deposits. Look at places where the top soil was lost for whatever reason. A road cut through hills etc. And notice the difference in the amount of plants and grass etc. Very noticeable. Some times nothing grows. So I think it would be wise if they have not yet, to spread a massive amount of grass seed over this whole area and hope for a regular rain until it sprouts, before a heavy downpour comes and sweeps away too much top soil.

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