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How has Armstrong Woods recovered almost a year after the Walbridge Fire?

Katherine Minkiewicz-Martine, SOCONEWS

[Michele] Luna said the fire that went through Armstrong Woods was a healthy fire. “It’s coming back quite nicely. It’s really quite beautiful.”

Almost a year after the Walbridge Fire made its way down Austin Creek and into parts of the forest floor of Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, the forest is showing healthy signs of regrowth.

The Walbridge Fire started on Aug. 17, 2020, after a rare summer thunderstorm that was responsible for several large wildfires in the state.

Only days after the fire started, it was at 1,500 acres and growing with no containment.

With decades worth of overgrown brush and dry fuel buildup, the fire wasn’t contained for weeks and it made its way down drainage basins and through the crowns of redwood forests, burning a total of 55,209 acres.

As the fire made its way into Armstrong Woods, fire crews were stationed in and around the park and near the 308-foot Colonel Armstrong tree in an effort to protect the great giant and its neighbors.

While the Walbridge Fire did not impact any structures or iconic trees such as the 1,400-year-old Colonel Armstrong tree, the fire did back its way down through the Austin Creek State Recreation Area through the Bullfrog Pond Campground, causing damage to picnic tables, bathrooms, fencing and trails.


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Pipeline project raises concerns for fans of Armstrong Woods

A water-system upgrade that might seem routine almost anywhere else has drawn considerable scrutiny at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, where park supporters are worried about the project’s impact on old-growth trees and other wildlife in the popular destination near Guerneville.
The plan to replace more than a mile of water line on the valley floor drew enough opposition last winter to prompt state park officials to scrap an initial environmental study in favor of a broader review, delaying construction at least a year.
But California State Parks environmental coordinator Patricia DuMont said the fact that so many locals love and enjoy the redwood preserve has made it all the more important for them to understand what the department has in mind and the precautions it plans to take to safeguard the vulnerable resources there.
Read more via Pipeline project raises concerns for fans of Armstrong | The Press Democrat.