I hadn't been back since, and my brother warned me the fire had changed everything.
Well, my first memory of Trappers is of the silvery sheen of dead trees, killed in the early 40's by the spruce beetle. Over time, live trees have greened up the area somewhat, but those dense stands of deadwood enabled the 2002 conflagration known as Big Fish Fire. Ten years later, what we see are bare trunks, standing or fallen, and among them new growth.
Few aspen grew around Trappers before, because the spruce formed what geographers call a "climax forest" - once certain vegetation dominate, they make an area inhospitable to other species by changing the soil acidity and forming a light-blocking overstory.
But now those spruce are out of the way. Oh sure, there are lots of dead trunks, but among them grow berry bushes, chaparral, abundant wildflowers - and aspen and Douglas fir are coming in. Birds are plentiful, along with mammals small and large. The plants thriving now will transform this forest into one which will over time be more beautiful, to many eyes.
From that vantage, we may even be able to appreciate the fire.