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Planting Trees Around The World For Forest Fire Recovery

by Gabrielle Clawson â—Ź May 11, 2023 â—Ź 4 min read

man planting seedling forest fire recovery
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Forest Fire Restoration Repairs Fire-Damaged Ecosystems and Brings Hope to Communities

Every year, forest fires rise in intensity as climate change and land management practices continue to provide the best conditions for them to do so. We have all seen the media coverage about areas that have been severely damaged by these fires, which happen worldwide.

The cause of forest fires can vary depending on location and human activity. However, these fires typically occur during dry seasons, and they tend to worsen if the rainy and snowy seasons lack precipitation or don’t last long enough. With the intensity and duration of fire seasons only increasing, it’s easy to become discouraged or feel like there isn’t anything you can do. 

Around the world, we are planting trees in places that have been severely affected by forest fires and would not be able to recover a healthy ecosystem on their own. Planting trees helps to restore damaged ecosystems, stabilize soils, support the water cycle, and slowly recover the vital ecosystem services that we all depend on.

One Tree Planted is dedicated to helping to restore lands that have been severely degraded by forest fires. We currently have 240 active projects around the world that are helping to restore forests after forest fires. Every one of these projects is making an important impact, and we wanted to highlight 4 that we find particularly inspiring!

4 Projects That Are Planting Trees For Forest Fire Restoration Around The World

1. Bushfire Recovery Nurseries in Australia

In the summer of 2019, the Australia bushfires burned for nine months until March 2020, causing over 400,000 hectares of land to be burned. This project aims to plant1 million trees in support of the recovery of these important lands.

This project will also help restore habitats that lost to the 2019-2020 fires through understory planting efforts, particularly for threatened species such as the Black Glossy Cockatoo and Koala.

Not only were habitats and lands impacted by these fires, but local communities were also hurt by the intensity of the damage. To help address those impacts, this project also seeks to support community recovery.

Long-term volunteering opportunities will be available to local community members, empowering them to help and contribute to their community after such devastating events. 

2. Renature Leiria in Portugal

Implemented on Mata Nacional de Leiria, the Leiria Pine Forest was initially planted by King Afonso III in the thirteenth century. Since then, this forest has become a major part of Portugal’s history. Unfortunately, In 2017, 700 years of history were burned by a wildfire that ripped through the forest, with only 1,500 hectares remaining intact today.

Before the fire, this was a glorious forest of old-growth pines and other native species. It was a place for the community to gather and enjoy many nature-based activities such as walking, cycling, and picnicking.

This project will plant over 300,000 trees in an effort to restore this beloved and historically significant forest. Each tree planted will help restore habitats, bring the forest back to life, and positively impact the surrounding communities. 

3. Hog and Sheep Fire Restoration in California

In 2020, two fires ravaged an area of California, burning through acres of land for several weeks. The Hog Fire began on July 18, 2020, before being contained on August 17th. On that same day, the Sheep Fire was started by a lightning siege and burned until September 4, 2020.

We are working to restore what was lost to these fires by planting over 200,000 trees. Planting these trees will improve water infiltration into the soil and groundwater recharge. Tree roots will hold that soil in place, preventing erosion and landslides. Over time, the soil's organic matter content will improve fertility and carbon storage. Planting trees where the risk of erosion is greatest protect homes, infrastructure, and natural resources downstream. 

The Hog and Sheep fire also impacted watercourses that are used to irrigate local farmlands and pastures. Reforesting these areas will stabilize slopes and banks, preventing widespread erosion. About 100 landowners that will benefit from this aspect of the project, creating jobs and helping the overall local economy.

4. Nazko Wildfire Restoration Project in British Columbia

In British Columbia, little to no natural regeneration has been found since the 2017 Plateau Fire near Nazko. Often, when forest fires are relatively small, nature doesn't require intervention because seeds in the soil and natural regeneration from surrounding healthy trees will restock the ecosystem with new emerging seedlings.

But when burn scars are severe, or when the closest healthy trees are too far away to spread seeds via natural processes, planting trees can help to catalyze the natural process so that forests grow again.

For this project, we are doing just that by planting 1.5 million trees to help encourage the natural recovery process. All species planted are native to British Columbia to ensure each site is planted with an ecologically suitable species mix. Planting ensures that forests' benefits will return to the landscape much faster than if left to natural processes.

Ready to take action for Forest Fire Recovery? Here’s how you can help.

Forest fires happen every year, but One Tree Planted is hard at work to support the recovery of these areas by planting trees. You can help make an impact by donating to plant a tree for forest fire recovery. 

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Gabrielle Clawson
Gabrielle Clawson

Gabrielle helps with fundraising and marketing, working with peer-to-peer fundraising as well as business fundraising. With experience in both women's rights and climate change organizations, she has a strong passion for non-profits and is excited to make an impact in the world through environmental change!