Dr. Briggs collects seeds for a post-fire germination study
The "Lick Incident" that burned 47,760 acres, most of it within the 87,000 acres that make up Henry W. Coe State Park, broke out on September 3, 2007 and was fully contained on September 11.
Fire is one of the major physical factors that shapes plant communities. The seeds of some species require a heat shock before they will germinate. The seeds of others require chemicals contained in smoke to germinate. Fire clears the woody debris of the forest floor to ash and returns essential minerals to depleted soils.
Shortly after the fire was fully contained, a group of Coe Park volunteers began the task of documenting the impact of the blaze, and the recovery of the various plant communities and landscapes within the park. The results of their work may be followed at http://coefire.com.