Burn and Recovery in Jewel Cave Canyon

July 06, 2013

Burn and Recovery in Jewel Cave Canyon2

Photographer: Dale Hugo
Summary Authors: Dale Hugo; Jim Foster

During a little hike my wife and I took to Jewel Cave, South Dakota, last month we noticed the burned area shown above. These ponderosa pines have fire scars from a year 2000 wildfire. The role of fire in forest preservation, propagation and health is 'hotly' debated. This picture shows that most fires aren’t 100 percent destructive. Although one tree was destroyed in this scene, the others all survived in spite of some rather extensive scarring. Ponderosa pines are fire resistant generally suffering only minor damage from wildfires. Lodgepole pine is one of several tree species with cones that are pyriscent, releasing their seeds only when heated by a forest fire. Since forest fires return valuable minerals to the soil and clear out competing or invasive species underbrush (like buckthorn), species such as ponderosa and lodgepole pine thrive after a fire sweeps through. Photo taken on May 20, 2013.

Photo details: Camera Maker: GENERAL IMAGING CO.; Camera Model: C1033; Focal Length: 5.2mm; Aperture: f/3.5; Exposure Time: 0.0087 s (1/115); ISO equiv: 80.