Maybe I’m looking at something other than fire damage but these trees look charred.  If I’m wrong, please tell me what the cause of the blackened bark is.  I hadn’t been to the South Hills since the Badger Fire almost 14 months ago.  I never got beyond the barrier installed by the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office.  I did get there last week and driving in the dark going uphill I didn’t see much in the way of fire scars.  After sunrise and while returning home I started seeing what looked to be charred vegetation.  It’s not pretty and it helps me understand just how long it’s going to take before the area fully recovers. 

I came across a stretch of forest where the trees all looked like gray matchsticks.

I don’t believe a cause was ever established.  There were people at the time who were telling me it may have been a man-made calamity.  It wasn’t clear if they were implying it was accidental or if someone intentionally committed a serious crime.  I would be surprised if investigators are still looking at the possibility and simply being very meticulous.

I’m not a guy you would call an environmentalist.  Still, it bothers me to see fire damage and even damage from insects and parasites.  A few years ago I was driving Interstate 15 on my way to Helena.  I came across a stretch of forest where the trees all looked like gray matchsticks.  It’s just depressing.  Parasites appear to have been the cause.

There was a major effort at restoring the fauna of the South Hills a few weeks ago.  Idaho Fish and Game assisted with the organization and volunteers got on board.  Thousands of plantings should speed forest recovery.


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