FIRE IN THE BOG!
The Burns Bog was on fire! (started Sep 11, 2005) How can a bog catch on fire you may ask? Well, it is quite possible and in fact quite common. When the bog has dried out enough or trees within the bog are dry enough the environment is ready to start a fire. An ignition source whether due to lightning or human caused can start a chain reaction that can be very difficult to stop. Because when the peat itself catches fire, the fire can travel underground and smolder for many months. Putting out the fire is very difficult to due access problems to the site and the fact that once the fire is underground it is very difficult to get to the fire itself to put it out.
Raised peat bogs normally occur on low plains or valley floors. They are formed by the decaying of plant material in an area that fresh water is only obtained by rainfall. The flat topography inhibits drainage of the water. The high water table causes poor aeration of the soil and a build of acidity which slows the decaying process. Because the decaying process is slower than the plant growth, a mound forms. This process after continuing thousands of years builds up plant material sometimes many meters deep. Due to the wet and acidic environmental conditions, one of the most common plants found in raised peat bogs are Sphagnum Mosses. Burns Bog is approximately 6 km across and consists on average of 2-3 metres thickness of peat. This has caused the centre of the bog to be 2 metres higher than the surrounding land.
Peat bogs have historically been exploited for its fuel and because of this many of the worlds peat bogs have disappeared or been reduced in size. The Burns Bog is no exception to this as development has been encroaching on its perimeter and portions of it have been removed. The Delta Nature Reserve is located on a small section (148 acres or 40 hectares) of the northeast corner of Burns Bog and a boardwalk will lead you though part of it. This area is protected and the only public access to the bog without taking part in one of the monthly paid tours into the centre of the bog.
As of November 18, 2006 to log this Earthcache:
go to the Delta Nature Reserve and find what remains of 3 signs describing some of the unique features of the bog. One of the trails that leads to the area can be found near the Great Pacific Forum which has parking available. You will need to walk both boardwalks to find the three signs. Posting a photo is not required but appreciated. Email me the answer to at least one of the three questions which you can find answers to on the signs.
Question #1 - What tree is the story about?
Question #2 - How many types of Sphagnum moss in Coastal BC.
Question #3 - What got stuck in the bog? Please remain on the boardwalk at all times.
Note: Due to vandals not all signs are currently there. Unfortunately, any logs that do not meet the requirements will be deleted. Thanks for visiting an Earthcache!