Eric Knapp breaks apart a burned pine cone, looking for seeds — in his line of work this is considered a clue.
"Going into an area after a fire, you almost feel like CSI, you know, sleuthing," Knapp says.
He is standing in a part of the Stanislaus National Forest that was severely burned by the Rim Fire. Knapp, an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service, is studying how forests recover.
"It's completely dead," he says. "These trees won't be coming back to life."
A lot of the forest was charred like this.