2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

What a 50-year-old burn scar looks like

Published: July 8, 2013, 2:57 pm, by Ryan Handy

No two wildfire burn scars are exactly alike, and how burned lands recover can depend upon how they are rehabilitated. 

While I was hiking in Taos, New Mexico this weekend I came across an old burn scar, from the Vinateria fire in 1967, that shocked me: From faraway, it looked barely regrown, after 46 years.

The landscape in the area was rugged, rocky, and dry. The forest was piñon. I haven’t been able to find out any information about the actual fire itself, but I doubt there was much done to rehabilitate the land, such as the Coalition for the Upper South Platte has done for  the Waldo Canyon fire burn scar.

Take a look at the burn scar, only a small portion (to the right of the sign):



And here’s a closer look:

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