Ecologists say life will return to B.C. wildfire zone, but trees may never grow back

By Nono Shen
Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
September 2, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The charred hills surrounding Okanagan Lake in the B.C. Interior will likely look very different in a year’s time and beyond as life returns to the wildfire-ravaged landscape, ecologists predict.  An eruption of low plants, grasses, and shrubs will turn the hills green. Birds and small mammals, as well as deer and bears, will return to feast on berries and other plant life. Carnivores including cougars could move in.  But the tall trees destroyed by the fires may never recover or return, said Robert Gray, a wildland fire ecologist.  “When you look at West Kelowna, it’s really rocky, steep ground and trees aren’t going to come back very well there. There is not a lot of moisture in the soil and it’s only going to get drier with climate change,” said Gray. “A lot of that landscape may not see a lot of trees come back.”

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