The Impacts of the KNP Complex Fires on Whitaker's Forest

October 26, 2021

The Forest: Although some back-burning had taken place on the property prior to the KNP Complex Fire reaching Whitaker's Forest, the wildfire burned over much of the property.  Generally, fire severity was low as it passed through Whitaker's forest, with only one small area impacted at a higher intensity based on observations during an initial site visit.  This area does include old growth sequoias, which may have been impacted by the fire, but at this time are still green. The area in which a 2012 prescribed fire took place performed especially well, with the KNP Complex Fire acting as a follow-up maintenance burn in that area.  Although the fire had the opportunity to burn the entirity of Whitaker's Forest, its low-severity spotty behavior resulted in some areas remaining totally unburned. 

Buildings: Structures including a field-crew cabin were not affected.  Clearing around these structures had taken place prior to the fire, and protection crews were in place as the fire burned through. The only building damage occurred at Bruin Camp Rd, where old structures no longer in use were burned.  

Other Infrastructure: There does not appear to be any damage to the powerlines which provide electricity to the property, however, the water systems did sustain damage with portions of water line melted or burning.  The exact extent of these issues is not yet determined, but repair work will get underway as soon as it is feasible. 

Research: Immediate post-burn data collection is already underway, with plans to collect additional data in the coming field season.  More specific research plans will be developed in the coming months.