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2024 King Range Fire Campout Recap

On the weekend of May 18-19, an overnight campout convened to explore fire history and fire management in the King Range National Conservation Area. This is the third year EPIC has sponsored this event.

Photo by Susan Nolan.

Saturday’s exploration of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) fuels management on Paradise Ridge Road was led by Marissa Vossmer, BLM forester, and Adam Booth, BLM prescriptive fire specialist (both standing by truck). Paradise Ridge is a crucial point between the wildlands of the King Range and settlement in the Mattole and Shelter Cove. The two talked about the various prescriptions used and how those were determined, how woody waste is safely handled, what tools are used, who does the work, and more.

The caravan stopped at several points to examine different forest types and treatments before settling under a massive oak for lunch and more discussion, at the beautiful big meadow at the end of the road. From there, the snowy peaks of the central Yolla Bolly could be seen sixty miles away, with a wide swath of country in between.

Photo by Susan Nolan.

The Buck Creek trail was Sunday’s destination, for a look at past fire fighting in a wilderness setting on the 2015 Horse Fire. In the photo below, hikers are heading down the trail in the fire footprint. Douglas fir seedlings and fresh green growth on shrubs show healthy recovery. Local landscape designer Cheryl Lisin helped with native plant ID.

Photo by Susan Nolan.

At a level clear spot on old fire line, Nick Pape, Shelter Cove fire chief, talked to the group about fire management and emergency services for his remote community. His description of how the Horse Fire behaved, and the struggle to contain it step by step, outlining the thinking behind each move, was more than the story of one fire; it was a window into fire fighting at large.

Nick and Justin Crellin of Friends of the Lost Coast review landmarks in the Horse Fire during lunch break, surrounded by fire-resilient shrub species. Photo by Susan Nolan.

This event was sponsored by Friends of the Lost Coast (FOLC), the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), and the Bureau of Land Management. FOLC leads hikes in the King Range; you can learn more at


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