Carpenter 1 Fire to Leave Ecological Damage - 8 News NOW

Carpenter 1 Fire to Leave Ecological Damage

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MOUNT CHARLESTON, Nev. - With tens of thousands of charred acres, the Carpenter 1 fire on Mt. Charleston could leave long-lasting or permanent ecological damage.

Experts say Mt. Charleston will recover, but it will take a very long time, and the landscape may never look the way it did before the fire started. Conservation experts say the damage will vary depending on elevation and which vegetation remains.

The Spring Mountains have experienced fires in the past, but they have not seen one as big as the Carpenter 1 fire in many years.

Experts say pine trees on the mountain could be lost forever. If a plant does recover, it likely will not grow back as strong as it was before the fire.

"In the higher elevations that we have bristlecone pine, they will take a very long time to really regenerate. It'll take centuries, if they ever do, based upon possible effects of climate change," said Red Rock Audubon Society Conservation Chairman John Hiatt. "The system will recover over time. It'll be different, but it will recover."

Hiatt says while it's sad to see so many old trees burn in the fire, the new underbrush that will grow will attract animals such as elk. While that area will likely never look the same, Hiatt says it will grow and survive.

Despite the fire's massive appearance, it has not destroyed all of the green areas of the mountain. Experts say some areas, even those in the middle of the fire zone, remain untouched.

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