Re-Inhabiting Burned Lands

A Walk in the Woods

Fires alter wildlife’s food, water and shelter forcing animals to either adjust or find new homes. In an intense fire, the complex humus layer on the forest floor gets charred, depleting nutrients and causing soils to repel water. Erosion is greater and the compromised soil produces less nutritious food for the animals.

Despite the hit it has taken, nature starts healing. In the spring, broad-leaved plants such as Rocky Mountain maple, dogwood, willow and aspen sprout from their roots and flowers like fireweed get established. Their leaves begin to shade the ash-covered slopes and cool the soi...


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