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Discussion: Is There a Symbol for a Fire Enhanced Area?

in: Orienteering; General

Feb 19, 2024 6:01 PM # 
Last Saturday Suncoast Orienteering was due to hold a competition at a park in Charlotte County Florida. It's a park with more than its share of palmetto thickets, scrub etc so most of the orienteering would have been on trails - the park has a good trail network - so it would be like ski or bike orienteering but on foot.
Lo and behold two days before the event was to happen the park was hit with a pretty big brush fire. The fire was under control but still burning the next day and the area was very smokey. We cancelled the event and rescheduled it for two weeks later. Today I went to visit and remap the park.
Hurray! Fire is sometimes good for orienteering! Impassable dark greem areas are now passable, sooty but passable. I found new objects to put on the map like an old car wreck and a spring. But the area is not exactly open woods and not exactly rough open terrain.
So back to the title question: is there a symbol for an area recently burned by fire?
Come see the area for yourself: Englewood, Florida March 2nd.
Feb 20, 2024 3:24 AM # 
Gord - Consider the new runnability and visibility.
Assuming there's a clean edge to the burned area, consider using the distinct vegetation boundary (symbol 416) around the perimeter. I'd highlight this in meet notes, so folks will have a heads up as to what it means in this case.
If the runnability is improved to 60% or 80% of 'normal' white woods, drop to a lighter shade of green, or make it white. If visibility at eye level is opened up, but running speed remains somewhat degraded, use one of the green slash symbols (407 or 409).
Feb 20, 2024 3:55 AM # 
Just burn a hole in the affected part(s) of the map.
Feb 20, 2024 7:41 AM # 
Jim- I think you have it. Yes, the visibility is opened up but also the remains of the vines, palmetto stocks and scrub trees are still there so runnability is somewhat impaired. I don't think I've ever before used 407/409 over white woods but I tried it and like the look. Thank you.
Boundaries of the burn are just not distinct enough in most cases to use a boundary symbol. Besides most of the boundaries are defined already by heavy equipment tracks quickly cut through the forest.
Hope to have event photos to post to after the March 2nd event.
tRicky thank you for your suggestion. I was going to try it but think that in Florida there is probably an ordinance (municipal rule) against burning holes in orienteering maps.
Feb 20, 2024 11:00 AM # 
In the Northern Territory (Top End of Australia) at the end of the Wet Season, it is advisable to burn the head-high grass covering your chosen map area, before holding an event there!
Feb 25, 2024 1:49 AM # 
Jenny - I recall grass in the NT on one map being over head high on me. Must be pretty tough for you visually. Maybe a new symbol for good running, awful visibility is needed.
Feb 26, 2024 4:31 AM # 
Ecmo we've hankered after something like that for 2-5m plantation pines before the pruning and thinning takes place. Very challenging, and no warning if the map contains good-vis trees as well. Sometimes an understorey of native vegetation can have the same effect.
Feb 26, 2024 10:56 AM # 
I echo what Jim said earlier.

The predominate undergrowth in these parts is a mixture of brambles, bracken and nettles with occasional wild rose vines; it grows both out in the open and under big trees. It can be anything from ankle height to head height.

Symbols 407 ("vegetation, slow running, good visibility") and 409 ("vegetation: walk, good visibility") are commonly used over both symbol 403 ("rough open land") and 405 ("open forest"). Sometimes it is easy to have good visibility over the top of a patch of thorns which are truly impassible, in which case I would expect 410 ("vegetation: fight").

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