By the time a wildfire is finally extinguished, a huge trail of destruction is often left behind in its wake. Smoldering remnants of trees, scorched grasslands, and even the ruins of homes can be common sights after a raging blaze. Because much of the attention is focused on how damaging wildfires are to the areas in which they spread, many forget that wildfires are nature’s own refresh button, clearing out dead or dying plant life to make way for new seeds to grow and flourish in the newly fertilized land.
In 2013, over 3,000 acres of Mount Diablo State Park in California were burned by a wildfire that caused 75 homes to be evacuated and forced the park to be closed for weeks. After the park reopened to visitors, Nerds for Nature, a volunteer organization dedicated to creating new tools “to help people discover, protect, and understand the world around them,” teamed up with the Mount Diablo Park service to create a citizen science project dedicated to monitoring wildfire recovery in the area. Visitors to the park can take pictures of the terrain and then upload the images to social media, where researches will compile the data and record how the area is responding to the wildfire.
To learn more about the citizen science project and view the recovery in progress, check out the website!
To learn more about Nerds for Nature, visit their website!