Photographs from the Photography on the Run post: After the Woolsey Fire: Ahmanson Ranch
The Woolsey Fire from Ahmanson Ranch on the afternoon of November 8, 2018, about 80 minutes after the fire started.
Photo tweeted by KCAL and KCBS photo journalist Stu Mundel as the Woolsey Fire started (apparently) at the Santa Susana Field Lab.
As bad as Ahmanson Ranch initially looked, the soil burn severity was generally low.
The WERT Soil Burn Severity Map for the Woolsey Fire. Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve, aka Ahmanson Ranch, is in the northeast corner of the burn area. Some trails in the Ahmanson area are noted in red.
Oaks in the Ahmanson area were scorched to varying degrees. Some were nearly unscathed. Very few became fully involved in flame.
The lower leaves of these oaks on the north (windward) side of Lasky Mesa were scorched.
This small coast live oak was only singed by the Woolsey Fire.
There were some casualties. Most of these were oaks weakened by drought and heart-rot. The rotten punk wood in the interior of the tree ignites and, after the trunk is sufficiently weakened, the tree fractures in the wind or collapses.
The leaves of many valley oaks were dessicated by the heat of the fire and withered. Two months after the fire many of the mature oaks were already sprouting new leaves.
Valley oak on the north slopes of Lasky Mesa sprouting new leaves less than two months after the area was burned in the Woolsey Fire.
New leaves sprouting on a coast live oak along a dirt road leading up to Lasky Mesa.
100+ year-old blue oak in upper East Las Virgenes Canyon, following the Woolsey Fire.
New leaves sprouting on the blue oak in upper East Last Virgenes Canyon.
The fire consumed the dead tree that stood here without burning the dry, live shrubs that surrounded it!
This valley oak near the Las Virgenes Canyon Road trailhead was one of the larger oaks in the canyon.
The fire ignited the punk wood in the interior of the tree, eventually weakening it to the point that it was blown down by 50+ mph winds or it simply collapsed. The drought may have accelerated the tree's heart-rot.
An especially dramatic stem failure of a valley oak in the Woolsey Fire.
Generally, valley oaks in the Ahmanson Ranch area killed in the 2005 Topanga Fire didn't collapse with fractured trunks, as was typical in the Woolsey Fire. Most of these Topanga Fire remnants were consumed in the Woolsey Fire.
A small Southern Pacific rattlesnake near a firebreak on the east side of Lasky Mesa.
Western bluebird on the northwest side of Lasky Mesa, following the Woolsey Fire.
New grass and other annuals sprouting in El Escorpion Park.
New grass growing along a road connecting East Las Virgenes Canyon and Upper Las Virgenes Canyon.
Oak grassland in Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve (aka Ahmanson Ranch) about two months after the Woolsey Fire.
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Gary Valle'. All Rights Reserved.