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34 votes

What to do if you are above timberline and your descent is cut off by a large forest fire?

Option 2 is better, as activating your PLB will divert resources that could be used to fight the forest fire, and put other people in unnecessary danger (PLBs aren't a get out of danger free card). ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
32 votes

How do forest fires affect rock climbing?

In addition to what the other answer says, a fire burning near a crag could weaken bolts; so if there is fire damage anywhere nearby, the bolts should be considered suspect and replaced (at least the ...
Michael Borgwardt's user avatar
25 votes

What to do if you are above timberline and your descent is cut off by a large forest fire?

Your question answers itself - "above timberline" indicates very little, if any, fuels for the fire, so the best option (assuming no life-threatening issues) is to stay put. As others have mentioned, ...
studiohack's user avatar
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25 votes

Hiking and climbing in smoky areas

IMO the best solution right now is not to go. I live in the PNW, and I'm simply avoiding strenuous exercise until air quality improves. I wouldn't enjoy hiking with a mask on, and it's unhealthy to ...
nhinkle's user avatar
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24 votes

How do forest fires affect rock climbing?

A forest fire can definitely affect the rocks and cause hazards (in addition to the hazards in the forest). Hot burning fires destabilize rock. This can result in removal of rock coatings, flaking, ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
20 votes

What is the risk of starting a forest or wildland fire with a flare gun?

There is a definitely a risk of starting a fire with a flare gun, for this reason they are discouraged by the National Park Service (at least in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument). Not Useful: ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
18 votes

What to do if you are above timberline and your descent is cut off by a large forest fire?

If you are not threatened there is no reason to activate your PLB. See How bad do circumstances need to be before activating a PLB? It is a forest fire, there may be people who are actually at risk ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
17 votes

What type of fires/stove can I use in Germany?

Official Fireplaces / "Grillplätze" I think the only legal option you have is to find / plan your hike along "official fireplaces". These are specially prepared places with solid ...
fgysin's user avatar
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14 votes

How long after a forest fire can you safely re-enter a forest?

As far as the danger from hotspots, it looks like it could be a while, A municipal leader in British Columbia's central Interior says he wouldn't be surprised if wildfires that have chewed through ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
13 votes

What to do if you are above timberline and your descent is cut off by a large forest fire?

A forest fire moves fairly rapidly (like 6-10 mph). Once it consumes the vegetation it goes out. If you stack a fire pit at best it will burn for a day. Just wait a day or two and walk out. Yes ...
paparazzo's user avatar
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13 votes
Accepted

What to do if you are above timberline and your descent is cut off by a large forest fire?

RETREAT Your option 2 is best, but having said that, rescue crews will want to know you're out there sooner than later. In the option 1 you described, you would be activating your PLB, then waiting ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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13 votes

What type of fires/stove can I use in Germany?

I am from Austria and can confidently talk about the situation here, but most of it will carry over to Germany, as we are culturally quite close. As to what most people would do when hiking: for day ...
phipsgabler's user avatar
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12 votes

How do forest fires affect rain run-off?

Basically it increases the runoff in a number of ways, less soil cover in the form of vegetation, ash blocking the water from being absorbed, and in some cases a hydrophobic water coating can be left ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Radius of safety from forest fires

Miles. But it depends. I was at Grande Marais rapids on the Churchill River. We'd carried the canoes over, but stopped for lunch on the uphill end, as the lower end was swamp and bugs. When we ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Hiking and climbing in smoky areas

I'm literally in the thick of the smoke right now, fires are burning a half hour upwind of me, and ash has been falling from the sky like snow. Just this past couple weeks the government has been ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
7 votes

How do forest fires affect rain run-off?

Yes Charlie's answer is excellent, but to append some technical information from my background as a civil engineer may be helpful. When evaluating stormwater impacts for a site, there's generally 3 ...
Pyrotechnical's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Is there a benefit for animals who return to the area of a deadly forest fire after the fire is out?

According to United States Forest Service, fire has a number of benefits for the wildlife including more nutrients in the ground, more open spaces, there are some plants that need fire to spread and ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
6 votes

How long after a forest fire can you safely re-enter a forest?

I'd like to caution against returning to recently burned areas for recreational purposes. Give it a year or two for vegetation to return. Traveling, even by foot, could cause irreparable damage when ...
Jammin4CO's user avatar
  • 189
6 votes

What is the risk of starting a forest or wildland fire with a flare gun?

Flares ignite at 191 °C (376 °F) and burn as hot as 1,600 °C (2,900 °F). This makes them incredibly dangerous since they are well above the ignition temperature of most flammables found in a forest or ...
gwally's user avatar
  • 161
5 votes

Can forest fires cause a drought?

There is a huge high pressure ridge (588+DAM) that has been parked over a good share of the Intermountain West (centered in various parts of the Great Basin) all summer. Storms that ride over the ...
boreal's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes

Surviving a forest fire by starting another fire

A vivid description of this is described in "Young Men & Fire" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Men_and_Fire Early 50's Forest service is developing smoke jumpers. At the time teams didn't ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
5 votes

How do forest fires affect rock climbing?

If there were a huge amount of heat, you might actually have to consider the hydrological issues. All mountains, hills, etc., have a water table. Steam can exert extreme pressures, enough to ...
breakpoint's user avatar
4 votes

Will the Trailhead Registry burn in a forest fire?

They probably will burn, see this one for example, (source: 14ers.com) Image Source Also wood has a higher ignition temperature. Sometimes they are in metal boxes on metal posts, but quite often they ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
4 votes

How long after a forest fire can you safely re-enter a forest?

Now that parts of the Park have been reopened, I've learned that there are several answers to this question. In the case of "when is it safe", the answer is essentially, "when the fire is out". There ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
4 votes

How do forest fires affect rock climbing?

Fire was used in traditional mining to ease breaking the rock into smaller pieces. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire-setting So, it is this once desirable effect what makes it now dangerous for you ...
B from C's user avatar
4 votes

What type of fires/stove can I use in Germany?

Welcome to Germany!  I've heard people in Germany are really into hiking. We are :-) But do they just walk? Hiking (wandern) indeed translates to "just walk" in German. Possibly eating ...
cbeleites unhappy with SX's user avatar
3 votes

How long after a forest fire can you safely re-enter a forest?

With training and while accompanied by experienced people, you can safely enter the burned area of a forest fire, while the fire is still burning. There is an entire career field dedicated to the ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
3 votes

What are the immediate causes of the large forest fires that have ravaged the US and Canada over the past several years?

Drought. The BC Wildfire Service has an interactive map that shows every reported fire in BC and it's suspected cause. Most of them are ignited by lightning, but it's the unusually dry season, high ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
3 votes

What are the immediate causes of the large forest fires that have ravaged the US and Canada over the past several years?

This report from the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America says that in the years between 1992 to 2012 humans were the cause of 84% of wildfires and 44% of the total area burned....
wanderweeer's user avatar
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