CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — With the destruction wildfires bring, comes a chance for new life and regrowth after the flames have been extinguished.
Ecologists say fires are natural in the evolution of a forest, and can create a diversity of habitats that can support life. As trees burn down, they leave an open canopy, where wildflowers and grasses can grow. Small stands of live trees and living roots underground will allow the forest to eventually return in full.
Many of the birds and insects that rely on trees will usually disappear for a time, but animals that survive on low vegetation like deer and elk will sometimes just move over to the next ridge while the fire burns, and can be seen almost immediately afterwards.