What is an illegal fire ring? | High Sierra Topix  

What is an illegal fire ring?

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby rlown » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:44 pm

SSSdave wrote:
Maybe people mainly because they are so emotional, do not have the interpersonal skills to confront people anywhere including those at their workplace or elsewhere in their everyday lives. But some of us who can do so calmly and intelligently, can and I hope that includes some reading this.


Maybe it's because we don't want to get shot. At least with the 20 something group, i knew what i was walking into. The girl was the fire tender. And I saw them during the day before, and talked to them.

You don't always know what you're walking into. Even the calm and intelligent get hurt doing the right thing.



User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5349
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby SSSdave » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:24 pm

[quote="Maybe it's because we don't want to get shot. At least with the 20 something group, i knew what i was walking into. The girl was the fire tender. And I saw them during the day before, and talked to them. You don't always know what you're walking into. Even the calm and intelligent get hurt doing the right thing.[/quote]

Quite agreed. One needs to have a good sense of who where and when confronting others not only in the backcountry but also in our daily lives. Only a fool would try to tell something to a much larger person in a group talking in the evening dim parking lot of some west Oakland bar. Even something tame like "I notice your car is missing licence plates". But the same person confronted at midday inside the SF Giants AT&T park during a ballgame is likely to smile when one asks them if they can use the empty seat next to them for a friend as long as no one comes. In the backcountry, I would not tend to confront a group of loud rowdy young twentysomething males but most others would in some way even if I would expect they are not going to like it.

A few years ago at the Darwin Canyon lakes in Kings Canyon National Park, two os us set up camp down under some whitebark pines. A couple of other small groups set up camps within the area. Later in the afternoon some obvious peak bagger with gear set up his tent a dozen feet from the same lake edge we were at probably because of the view. He was a tall lean 6 footer plus maybe 30 years. I'm a short thin 66" guy of 140#. I came by carrying my 4x5 on its tall tripod and from a distance of several dozen feet found him standing about near his tent. In my usual strong though calm voice I said, there are some legal campsites, (pointing to an area of whitebarks) over there. Then continued walking where I was going. He was obviously annoyed I had said anything but my walking away didn't give him the opportunity to say anything. A half hour later he was still there but two hours later was he was gone from the area. I figure he probably kept thinking about it stewing then pissed off got up and moved but didn't move far, maybe setting up camp likewise illegally at one of the other lakes. But the confrontation would over time sink in making him wonder about others talking to him about what was likely a common in your face I can do whatever I want to attitude.
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby John Dittli » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:45 am

Fire rings for the most part are pretty silly. If one is building a fire in an appropriate location (no combustibles within several feet), a ring of rocks serves no purpose unless you bring a cooking grill and I was thinking those days were over, but maybe they're not? Though as someone mentioned, it does establish a semi-permanent location for future fires.

And that may be exactly why they are being removed; if there is no ring, I suppose many people will be less apt to have a fire, which may be the ultimate goal. But this is purely speculation. I didn't realize the general public was removing well established, legal fire rings, that is a lot of dirty work.

Even as an ex-ranger, I still regularly break down and clean up illegal fire rings. In some cases (though rarely) I'll remove legal fire rings in remote locations where the fire ring itself is an obvious one time use and is the only sign or impact in the area.

While a fire maybe "legal" in a certain area, it's a shame to establish new rings, especially in remote locations. It's so easy to have a fire, yet leave the area with no sign.
Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
User avatar
John Dittli
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:38 am
Location: Crooked Creek
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby Jimr » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:45 am

I've busted up a few, but not many. Usually when I'm camping at a spot where there are too many. One place had 4 rings; two larger and two smaller. I broke up the two smaller ones and left the two larger ones that were well established. The place only really needed one, but the larger ones would have taken far too much effort to eradicate, so I opted to leave them remove the two I could leave without a trace.

I ran across a few in Tehipite Valley that were unusable, overgrown and near the river, but they looked to be about 100 years old, so I considered them historical and left them alone.

I've seen many in the high country that are obviously illegal, but if they are at a hardened site, I normally leave them.
What?!
User avatar
Jimr
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1137
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:44 pm

I've actually seen a few rings that show no signs of ever being used. Like someone just built it for fun.
User avatar
RoguePhotonic
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1667
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:52 am
Location: Bakersfield CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby rlown » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:43 pm

RoguePhotonic wrote:I've actually seen a few rings that show no signs of ever being used. Like someone just built it for fun.


Yeah.. that is Sasquatch. He doesn't know about fire but he knows about rocks. Lures people into a camp by offering up a ring, and has a stockpile of stones just out of camera range to throw near you when you camp there. :lol:
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5349
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby rlown » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:00 pm

did you mean Jimr? And we are all kind of the fire ring "cops" if we care to be. If they are in an illegal area, they should go, based on whatever cop system you believe in.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5349
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby dave54 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:01 pm

I have seen campsites with so many rings it looks like a battlefield with shell craters all over. Some only a few feet away from each other! Why didn't the builders just use the existing ring instead of building new???? I dunno, maybe the rocks were not arranged feng shui or something... :confused:

In those case I may destroy all but one -- leave the safest one on the most durable site.

I rarely have a fire, but when I do I search the fire ring first. Who knows what is buried in the ashes? I once found a .30 cartridge buried in the ash carefully arranged pointing directly at a log where someone would be sitting. Also found partially filled butane cartridges buried in the ash just waiting for someone to build a fire. There are some sick sadistic sociopaths in the backcountry.
=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Log off and get outdoors!
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=
User avatar
dave54
Founding Member
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:24 pm
Location: where the Sierras, Cascades, and Great Basin meet.
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby cmon4day » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:50 pm

When I get to an established camp I usually remove two plastic grocery bags of ashes, and dispose of discretely, and remove the usual aluminum foil for packing out. That way I figure I am not adding more ash to a fire pit.

When I'm cross country and I come across a fire ring that lightly used (like once) I usually take the time to dismantle it before moving on.
User avatar
cmon4day
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:08 pm
Location: Dublin, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:18 pm

There have been cases where an area had a number of fire rings but I just built a new one. One example is when I stayed at that odd camp site on Whitney Creek. Not sure if that is some old hunting camp or something but the main area with the structures showed signs that fires had been broken up in the past which I wasn't sure why. When exploring the whole area I found some other pits in random areas that did not offer any good camping. A couple of them had been filled in with more rocks for some reason. So I did my typical thing of selecting the best site and sitting on the cut downed tree made into a seat and stretching out my legs to note the optimal location from the seat to place it. Then I rolled some cut logs in the area by it for seats. Pretty much turned it back into a major camp site. Maybe some people don't like that but considering there is a metal box and some sort of cooking platform with concrete in it and a large table pretty much makes the area as disturbed as possible.
Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
RoguePhotonic
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1667
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:52 am
Location: Bakersfield CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby Jimr » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:30 am

I wonder what Jimr said that would make anybody believe he was policing fire rings :moon:
What?!
User avatar
Jimr
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1137
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What is an illegal fire ring?

Postby SolitaryRefinement » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:35 pm

I used to (like, 20 years ago or so) use fire rings, but have never built one.
I guess I've broken some up, but it wasn't so much in the attitude of destroying it as it was making things look a bit more "natural" - especially if was crudely made, recently made, or long since "abandoned."

To echo what some people have said - if you do it right, you don't need the ring. Though, if done right, it makes a good break alongside all the other precautions (clearing duff, etc). Luckily, I was trained properly as a child, and can make small, hot, purposeful fires that when extinguished, are easily covered/spread/removed.

But since getting back into nature, I've abandoned all usage of fire. It's just not worth it. Sure it glows, it warms, it soothes some ancient emotion....but its just too dangerous now. And after last year? Forget it. I still take all my emergency fire-starting equipment, but it's for just that - emergencies.
I'll admit that my first fireless trip was kind of a bummer. Something was "missing." But since then, it's fine. I'll live. The only real effect is that I don't have much of a desire for cooking fish in the backcountry anymore. Smokey, peppery trout was such a treat, it just doesn't have that same "flavor."

So, as for illegal - it's pretty much anything now. Folks can easily go without now that there are amazing lamps and stoves and water filters.

I think I went nowhere with all this. :lol:
User avatar
SolitaryRefinement
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:23 pm
Experience: N/A

Previous

Return to The Campfire



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests