The Hopewell Fire: One year ago…
One year ago today a tree fell on a powerline on the boundary of French Creek State Park and Hopewell Furnace, igniting a wildfire that burned for five days over more than 700 acres. Conditions were extremely dry and high winds blew. The threat of wildfire was so high that week that the Bureau of Forestry staffed the old-fashioned fire tower in the state park, which was the place from which the first smoke was spotted. Even so, the winds were so high that air support, even to size up the fire, was not available. The rate of spread was greater than crews on foot could keep up with.
I’ve already written that the forest regeneration started immediately. Last summer and fall were lush with fresh growth in the understory. This spring, when little has leafed out, only the scars of the fire are visible. Shortly now the forest will green up and we will continue to be amazed by its rebirth.
Posted by Daniel Barringer on April 9, 2013.