Become a
Fire Follower
California's biodiversity is forged in fire.
Help us capture this fleeting phenomenon.
With your help, we can compare plants seen before and after fires, increase understanding of fire followers, and provide crucial information on species of concern to aid in recovery and conservation efforts.
Get started

A glorious fire poppy (Papaver californicum), an emblematic fire follower.
Photo: Mike Palladini / Land Trust of Napa County

Challenge of the Month:
Harvest Moon

Join in for an observation challenge until our next full moon on October 20, 2021 (Hunter’s moon). Any observation made from the following list will be counted towards your score and will make you eligible to play for a prize! Below, we have compiled a list of plant groups that have edible fruits or other parts. We encourage you to look (and photograph) but leave the plants, particularly in burned areas where wildlife need the food.

  • Fagaceae (oaks)
  • Rhus
  • Corylus
  • Sambucus
  • Rosaceae
  • Typha
  • Ribes
  • Vaccinium
  • Opuntia
  • Vitis

    Photo: Coyote melon (Cucurbita palmata) Photo: iNaturalist feetontheground CC-BY-NC
How to be a Fire Follower

Know before you go
Burn areas can be hazardous. Read through our 3 Know Before You Go guidelines before heading out.

Visit open sites safely
Once you’ve determined a safe and open burn area, you’re ready to adventure! Be sure you’re prepared with these tips and tricks.

Take a picture
Take a picture of what you find. Be sure to note the location of the plant.

Share your observations through our iNaturalist project

Can't make it out to the field? There are many other ways to get involved.
Learn more
Project Goals

Observations of plants in California burn areas


Fire followers (the human variety) participating in the project

Fire Literacy

Revive and share a language that reflects the richness of California’s relationship with fire


Make 250 plant observations for the Fire Followers iNaturalist project and receive this custom sticker and the Fire Followers lapel pin!

Lapel Pin

Make 250 plant observations for the Fire Followers iNaturalist project and receive this lapel pin and the Fire Followers sticker!


Make 500 plant observations on the California Fire Followers iNaturalist project and receive this t-shirt!

Reach 250 or 500 plant observations? Contact us to get your prizes!
Contact us