Rim fire’s legacy burnt into landscape for decades to come

The Rim fire, which is still burning as its secured its legacy as California’s third-largest wildfire in history, so far has burned across nearly 402 square miles. Though the worst of the blaze is over, and officials expect it to be fully extinguished by October, the region’s recovery has barely begun:

Burned chaparral and oak will quickly resprout. But where large patches of trees were killed, ecologists say it could take 30 to 50 years for the forest to reestablish itself in the shrub fields that are the first to grow. If there are more fires in the meantime, the land could permanently convert to chaparral.

Read more of Bettina Boxall’s report here.

Photos: NASA / AFP/Getty Images, Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

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