|A soils scientist from the Burned Area Emergency Respone Team assess a burn area in The Rim fire near Yosemite National Park, California|
Some areas of the Stanislaus National Forest ravaged by the Rim Fire had not burned in 100 years. Most of the land that now resembles a moonscape burned on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22.
|A deer returns to its home range in the Rim Fire area near Yosemite National Park, Calif.|
Short-term impacts in the park could include the displacement of a unique and threatened subspecies of great gray owls that makes home in treetops in the fire's range.
Severe soil damage occurred on just 7 percent of the land inside the fire's footprint, said officials with the federal Burned Area Environmental Response team. Fire can destroy soil and make it susceptible to erosion by either burning the fine roots and other organic matter that holds it together, or by burning chaparral that releases oils that create an impervious barrier preventing rainwater from being absorbed. (MSN News, AP Photo: U.S. Forest Service, Brad Rust, AP Photo: U.S. Forest Service, Louis Haynes)