“Most of the oak trees started showing signs of new growth soon after the fire, and much of the ground vegetation is back,” said Irvine Ranch Conservancy Project Manager Nathan Gregory, Ph. D. “It could take a few years for the shrub coverage to return to its status before the fire, and decades for oak trees to grow.”
Rain can also play a big factor in the recovery. This past rainy season was the driest on record in California, slowing the pace of recovery. However, if rainfall levels return to normal or exceed the yearly average, the impacted areas will have a much better chance of rebounding quickly.
The most important thing you can do to aid in the recovery is help reduce fire frequency and prevent future fires in the area. While our local ecosystems are adapted to handle the occasional wildfire, they have been happening far too often, depriving the land of the time it needs to recover. For more information on what you can do to help prevent wildfires, please visit the Fire Watch Volunteer Program page: letsgooutside.org/activities/fire-watch/.