In the area burned by a major fire such as the one that engulfed the Thompson Peaks, one of the first signs of the natural regeneration process is the appearance of fireweed (Fireweed, Chamerion angustifolium or Epilobium angustofolium). I will post photos of some of the burned area of the Chippy Creek fire next, but to start I think it’s fitting to celebrate this beautiful and very beneficial plant.
Wikipedia describes it quite well when it states: ” the name Fireweed derives from the species’ abundance as a coloniser on burnt sites after forest fires. Its tendency to quickly colonize open areas with little competition, such as sites of forest fires and forest clearings, makes it a clear example of a pioneer species. Plants grow and flower as long as there is open space and plenty of light, as trees and brush grow larger the plants die out, but the seeds remain viable in the soil seed bank for many years, when a new fire or other disturbance occurs that opens up the ground to light again the seeds germinate. Some areas with heavy seed counts in the soil, after burning, can be covered with pure dense stands of this species and when in flower the landscape is turned into fields of color.”