For the first time since the Fern Lake Fire burned through Moraine Park, I returned to see what damage occurred. Not sure what I would find, I was probably more apprehensive than anything else. The first glimpse went a long ways towards encouraging me.
The meadow is changed, that much is for sure. The vast majority of the tall grass burned while the fast moving fire rolled through. A wet spring will help a lot though and the meadow is ready for a lot of new growth.
The fire obviously did not burn hot for very long as it made the run down the valley. Islands of unburned grasses were to be seen throughout the meadow. Stream-side willows and other vegetation were a bit charred towards the ground but not dead, at least not in the small area I saw.
Here are a couple of pictures I took. You can tell that the meadow was burned but it should recover nicely once the growing season returns assuming we have some moisture...