July 21, 2005

After the flames V

Previous forest fire entry

M. took a walk a couple of days ago into Babcock Hole, looking for a bit of unburned meadow with some shade, which she found after a time.

While she was resting there, a young mule deer buck (in velvet) came by. He looked all right, if a bit skinny. It was his behavior that seemed odd. Twice he nearly walked right up to her, she said.. He seemed disoriented or at least a bit dazed.

Not a quarter mile away--within a normal territory size for a mule deer--was an unburned hillside, with grass, forbs, and oak brush. But he was wandering around in the burnt area.

The official line is that larger animals have no trouble fleeing the fire. That is not always true; I have seen photos, at least, of deer who were unable to outrun a fire. It can happen, if not often.

We just do not always know what goes on with the other animals.

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