The Pine Barrens Wildfire of 2022

In the summer of 2022 a wildfire burned almost 15,000 acres of Wharton State forest. When I started photographing the damage from the fire I saw how the damage was not just limited to the upland forests that actually need fire to survive, but it also burned more environmentally sensitive areas as well. I realized the need for a more permanent photographic record of not just what the fire burned, but also how the Pine Barrens will adapt and recover.

This page with its gallery is that record. As I explore the areas that were burned I will post photographs to show how the these areas of the Pine Barrens will adapt.



Summer 2022

A Burned Savanna

Savannas are lowland areas, usually along rivers and are usually habitats for wildflowers. I called this little photogenic savanna the Magic Savanna because of the abundance of wildflowers, including orchids and the rare Bog Asphodel.  Also included are some older photographs showing the lush Magic Savanna before the fire consumed it.

The Upland Fire

The upland forest require regular fires in order to survive. It is part of the ecology where fire has been around for thousands of years. The extent of this particular wildfire, covering close to 15,000 acres makes it one of the worst wildfires in many years. Aerial photographs were one of the only ways to show the extent of the damaged area.


The River’s Edge

The Mullica River was in the center of the fire and created a natural firebreak saving a few scenic areas.