Recovery two years after the Cottonwood Fire •

Recovery two years after the Cottonwood Fire


Recovery two years after the Cottonwood Fire Today’s Video of the Day from the U.S. Geological Survey shows the recovery of grassland in western South Dakota that was consumed by fire two years ago.

On October 16, 2018, the Cottonwood Fire burned over 41,000 acres in two days.

Igniting just north of the Badlands National Park, the fire was fueled by low humidity, intense winds, and high temperatures. Recovery from large wildfires may require some help. But forests will, in time, heal themselves. The following time-lapse video clip captures the stunning regrowth of a longleaf pine habitat over the course of two months after a controlled burn: How Fire Can Restore a Forest: A Time-Lapse (Ground View)

The natural pattern of recovery after a wildfire is referred to as “ecological succession.” This is the process whereby the land, plants and wildlife move through various ecological stages in order to return to a state of relative stability. The event included previews of a new documentary, Rebuilding Paradise, by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard, which premieres on National Geographic Channel on Nov. 8, the second anniversary of the fire. Recovery two years after the Cottonwood Fire.

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

Video Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

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