In early April, 2014, there were a large number of grass fires that burned several hundred acres from Nimitz Hill where I live all the way south to Mt. Tenjo and further south to the Mt. Alutom area. Grass fires are not uncommon on Guam, in fact they occur just about every dry season in the spring. Of course you have unintentionally set fires, the result of carelessly discarded cigarettes along the roadside, but quite often these fires are set intentionally by poachers. Heavy underbrush provides cover in which pigs and deer can hide, so burning this cover eliminates hiding spots. Additionally, the new grass that grows following a fire is tender and attracts animals.
Unfortunately, these fires cause quite a bit of damage. Aside from the risk to residences, these fires often decimates endangers species which are unable to escape the burn. Additionally, the burned areas lost their grass cover which anchors the soil, so rains cause heavy erosion which blankets the coral reefs with smothering silt.
Following earlier fires that burned the summit of Mt. Tenjo, I decided to hike out to try to locate remnants of the old WW1 era Marine battery that used to be located there.
Atop Mt. Tenjo, remnants of the gun battery were easy to locate because all the grass had been burned off. What I was not expecting were foxholes – many of them – guarding the summit. It turns out that these are WW2 era and I will post about them more in depth later.