Rock Pool Fire, Malibu Creek State Park

I was just ready to upload my observations for the Socially Distant Bioblitz on August 16th (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/56674788), when I got an alert on my phone that a fire had broken out in my neighborhood -- the Rock Pool Fire in Malibu Creek State Park. It consumed an area of only 92.8 acres thanks to swift action by the fire department. 21 months earlier, the area had been devastated by the Woolsey Fire, which consumed 96,949 acres and took 14 days to contain... Our wildlife can handle fires every 30 to 50 years. But back to back wildfires are catastrophic.

On the next day, Mulholland Hwy was still blocked, but I looked around from a safe distance... See the text and "b-roll" context pictures to the four observations below.

More here: https://www.theacorn.com/articles/brush-fire-scare-at-malibu-creek-state-park/

Posted by andreacala andreacala, August 19, 2020 15:09

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

California Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus ssp. californicus)

Observer

andreacala

Date

August 17, 2020 10:22 AM PDT

Description

As I was closing in on the still smoldering Rock Pool Fire at Malibu Creek State Park, the air became smoky and the light turned toxic golden... #Rock Pool Fire, day two.

Photos / Sounds

What

Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii)

Observer

andreacala

Date

August 17, 2020 10:35 AM PDT

Description

On the side of the street a Sacred Datura, and looking up a crew of fire fighters who were dousing a smoldering log. #Rock Pool Fire, day two.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana ssp. elegans)

Observer

andreacala

Date

August 17, 2020 10:35 AM PDT

Description

On the side of the street a Side-blotched Lizard, and looking up I saw the road block of the fire department, and a Valley Oak who survived the Woolsey Fire, covered with red fire retardant (Phos-Chek) to protect the tree from the Rock Pool Fire only 21 months later. #Rock Pool Fire, day two.

Photos / Sounds

What

Tule Bluet (Enallagma carunculatum)

Observer

andreacala

Date

August 17, 2020 10:37 AM PDT

Description

On the side of the street a Tule Bluet, and looking up Phos-Chek covered trees and terrain, and a smoldering hot spot on the slope up to Cistern Trail. #Rock Pool Fire, day two.

Comments

Seven months ago, when I made this peculiar observation https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/40182828 at Malibu Creek State Park, 144 cases of Covid-19 infections had been identified in Los Angeles County and the first few health orders were issued (http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/phcommon/public/media/mediapubhpdetail.cfm?prid=2271). A few days later, until Mid May, all parks, trails and beaches were closed to avoid crowding. When the trails re-opened, Malibu Creek State Park was overrun with people every day of the week, and although I drove by often, I never hiked there. On Sunday, August 16th, a fire broke out in this spot. It was quickly attacked and contained, and all hikers were able to escape the flames, but it devoured nearly 100 acres of mostly grassland and chaparral hillside. Here’s an observation of a partly burned Indian Fig Opuntia with views of the burn scar four days after the fire, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/57125363.

I visited the burn scar about two months later, on a gloomy day with only a handful of hikers in the area, see my observations following https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/63240555, which is from the exact same spot as https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/40182828.

Posted by andreacala about 1 year ago (Flag)

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