thumbnail Looking back at Yellowstone, 30 years after the fires
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Looking back at Yellowstone, 30 years after the fires © Austin Cronnelly/Tandem Stills + Motion
Nature’s resiliency is on full display here at Yellowstone National Park, where new growth has emerged among the trees charred by the massive 1988 wildfires. More than 1 million acres in the greater Yellowstone area were affected by the blazes that summer, scarring 36 percent of the park. Today marks the 30-year anniversary of Black Saturday, a day when the park saw some of the worst damage, with smoke and ash blackening the skies. But when cool, moist weather brought an end to the devastating fires in late autumn, the ecosystem immediately began to recover. Fire has long been part of the complex ecosystem at Yellowstone and many species have even adapted to rely on fire to open up the canopy, spread seeds, and diversify the habitat.