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[pct-l] Fire in CA Section E

The local USFS office has a 5/13 update on the Bouquet Canyon fire;
unfortunately it doesn't mention trail closures, only campground closures.
The site is
http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/angeles/visitor/new_release_bouquet_fire.htm .

As it happened, Chuck (Igor) & I (Christine/Ceanothus) had just completed a
car-shuttle to do the PCT section between Agua Dulce and Bouquet Canyon at
10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning (5/11); we left one of our vehicles at the
PCT/Bouquet Cyn intersection at about 9:45 a.m., having passed Bouquet
Reservoir about 9:35 - no signs of fire yet.  We circled around throught
Palmdale via Elizabeth Lake Road and Palmdale Blvd back to the Antelope
Valley freeway southbound to Agua Dulce.  About 1/4 mile into the hike back
to Bouquet I noticed a puff - a puff! - of smoke in the vicinity of Bouquet
Canyon.  Five minutes later, a little higher on the trail (under some
transmission lines), we noticed that the puff was the top of a column of
smoke...in the direction we were going.

Chaparral fires are nothing to fool with - a hiker ABSOLUTELY MUST, NO
QUESTIONS ASKED, leave the vicinity - even if the fire appears to be miles
away.  Chaparral vegetation is genetically designed to burn, and to burn
hot.  And fast.

We immediately turned around (not happy, of course....), went back to
Vehicle No. 2, and retraced our route to retrieve Vehicle No. 1.  We
retrieved Vehicle No. 1 without incident, and drove a couple of miles south
on Bouquet Canyon.  Just south of the intersection with Spunky Canyon Road
we were stopped by a patrol car and notified that the road was closed
because of the fire - which we could then see, towering flames on the hills
south of Bouquet Reservoir.

The winds blew primarily south on Saturday - apparently away from the PCT  -
but there's no information from the USFS about the fire's effect on the PCT.
The good news is that the local reports say that the fire's been about 70%
contained.  It's likely that the fire was "allowed" to burn itself out where
it did not threaten human structures.

And if we get rain this fall/next winter it might prove to be a good
wildflower show (provided the topsoil isn't compromised by erosion or
overseeding of non-native ryegrass...).  Fire-following vegetation tends to
be spectacular.

And no, we didn't play with matches or anything else flammable on the way up
Bouquet ;-) !

Christine aka Ceanothus Kudija