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pula58
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 11:13 am 
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My wife and I did a 3 day backpack of the white pass-blue lake-pilot ridge loop.
At blue lake we smelled smoke and found a good Samaritan trying to put out a fire with his water bladder. Some person had (probably a day or two before, when the weather was rainy) made a fire inside a grove of trees so as to get out of the rain. The fire spread into the tree roots and created a smouldering sink hole around the base of the trees. beautiful old trees (probably 500 years old) wiped out so that someone could have a fire one night.

We need to get the word out, over and over, about leaving no trace. These days, with so many more people in the back country LNT is an ethic that is more important than ever before. LNT is an issue here (as well as fire safety) because someone made a new fire pit where there wasn't one before, and engineered a place to sit ( a "chair of sorts") with some rocks.

As a side note. A forest service crew from Mt. Baker ranger district came (they hiked in via pilot ridge) and put out the fire (yey!). We met them on our hike out to N Fork Sauk.They told us that they had told a few campers at blue lake to not make a fire, that it was prohibited, and came back 15 minutes later to find that they (the campers) had made a fire pit and lit a fire in spite of being told not too.
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Foist
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 12:34 pm 
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Sounds exactly like the experience we had at Cyclone Lake last summer.  We tried to put it out but it had already gotten so deep underground that we failed.  From another trip report posted in the fall, it sounded like the smoldering pit got even bigger after we left, sadly.
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kiliki
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 12:36 pm 
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Maybe post this on the WA Hikers FB page? I don't belong and don't know if they will take down this type of message, but it's got 100k+ members so you'd get a wide audience.
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pula58
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 12:53 pm 
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I briefly joined WA Hikers FB page...then un-joined..It was just too sad to see the attitude of the members towards the mountains...treating the mtns very badly
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SwitchbackFisher
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 1:05 pm 
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I unfollowed that group for the same reason, and I can only take so many pics of rattlesnake on my news feed. But I agree it should be posted to that group, and if it's a wilderness area maybe the contact the ranger and if not to many people went in that area the day before they can look at wilderness permits to find the responsible party? Sorry not very familiar with the area.

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Kim Brown
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 1:16 pm 
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Ah,  frown.gif

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kiliki
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 1:59 pm 
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i thought I read here a while ago that the WA hikers page was less laissez-faire than it used to be, that admins were keeping some kind of order and weeding out the bad actors. But like I said I'm not on it and don't really know. I agree with the reporting to the district ranger, even though I'm sure it's such a long shot to find the culprit.
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Bernardo
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 3:15 pm 
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I thought 500 year old trees were pretty fire resistant.   I am not saying the fire was ok, but how do you know the trees were going to die?  They must have survived many fires in their 500 years.
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gb
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 4:46 pm 
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Bernardo wrote:
I thought 500 year old trees were pretty fire resistant.   I am not saying the fire was ok, but how do you know the trees were going to die?  They must have survived many fires in their 500 years.

Worthless comment. This is about responsibility. Lots of dumb folks start fires.
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FiresideChats
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 5:12 pm 
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pula58 wrote:
in spite of being told not too

Yes, that is arrogant disregard of responsible authority. Violation of LNT in the subalpine is tempting because you can find wood and can make fires and people don't realize they are vandalizing a living museum because the trees get so desiccated in summer and grow so sloooowly. The badass climbers of yesteryear, though impressive people, certainly did not have this awareness and burned in the alpine to fuel their exploits.
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Bernardo
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 5:31 pm 
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Really GB?  This is a great example of a destructive comment.  You fly into a cyberbullying rage every time someone challenges the natrative you want to advance.  It's a nasty tactic and it is really bad for constructive dialogue.  In this silly case, I questioned some "facts" that may have embellished the narrative, heightened the drama, and enhanced the sense of outrage.  This was effective with you because the outrage the story engendered in you justified in your mind your total and public invalidation of my perspective.  I don't think exagerating bad news is a good policy.  It's called crying wolf and just undermines credibility with most readers. 

Furthermore, I was sincerely interested in learning about 500 year old trees that may have been killed in this way before.  Do you have any examples?  Some pictures would be nice.
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Gil
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 6:16 pm 
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It's OK to set 500-year-old trees on fire because they might not die?

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Tom
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 6:22 pm 
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Bernardo wrote:
I thought 500 year old trees were pretty fire resistant.  I am not saying the fire was ok, but how do you know the trees were going to die?  They must have survived many fires in their 500 years.
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InFlight
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 6:39 pm 
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Camp fires in any backcountry locations are just pure stupidity.   We have enough lightning caused forest fires, the fire fighters dont need this kind of help. 

Two of us came across a smoldering root fire years ago near peach lake that we were able to stop with a trowel and lake water.

If you need a dose of campfire smoke go to some campground with established campfire rings. Stick to backpacking stoves elsewhere.

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Gil
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 7:00 pm 
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Tom wrote:
Bernardo wrote:
I thought 500 year old trees were pretty fire resistant.  I am not saying the fire was ok, but how do you know the trees were going to die?  They must have survived many fires in their 500 years.


My mistake. It's NOT ok to set fire to 500-year- old trees.

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