Pitch Canker poses fire danger

David Briggs; inset by Elizabeth Whitney

FIRE HAZARD: Vast swathes of young bishop pines that were seeded on the Inverness Ridge by the Mount Vision Fire of 1995 are being attacked by pitch canker disease, turning the landscape into a virtual tinder box. The airborne pathogen causes the ends of branches to die off; in some cases, particularly among young trees, the canker can be lethal. Its spread is particularly troubling for Jordan Resser, the fire management officer for the Point Reyes National Seashore, who has been overseeing clearing along escape corridors on Limantour Road and surrounding areas. “The fuel condition out there is significantly higher now than it was during the Vision fire”, Mr. Resser said, adding that management options are few. “What can we really do?”