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34927Re: Small fires in the wilderness

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  • Mike Mosack
    Sep 8, 2013
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      Hi Larry,
      Just curious - are you limiting the question to just the JMT or wilderness in general? I ask because I feel there could be a difference in population visiting, available resources, services, etc. and some might really be off the grid or near a high-traveled trail.
      I am one that prefers to take a stove whenever possible and I usually do not build a campfire of any size. I’m not opposed to them, I just like stoves. I’ve certainly have had campfires and love them for the warmth, genuine good feelings felt, cooking, camaraderie at the end of a day, etc. Admittedly, I’ve not had one on the JMT/Yosemite area. If we exclude areas where laws prohibit them and natural environments where they are dangerous or resources scarce, then I think they are a valid and nice option for some.
      I too, except for the bonfire in the desert, am like you in that if I build a campfire, I keep them small and use small diameter sticks when I can. I’ve been to areas however, where the available downed wood has been collected and the only fuel available (other than grasses) are the remnants of barkless, branchless, tree trunks. I wouldn’t want to start a fire in those (whole) for fear that I might miss getting it completely out and leave a smoldering ember somewhere in the log. 
      As you say, fire is a natural healthy process in the wilderness, but in the case of these small (Indian) campfires, I think they really do not have any impact in the overall health of the wilderness.
      Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2013 5:48 PM
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Small fires in the wilderness

      I realize fires of any kind are forbidden this year due to fire danger but I have heard that many purists believe fires should be restricted all of the time. If anyone has an opinion on this, I'd be interested in hearing why? (or why not?)
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