I’m marching through a stand of blackened, towering pine trees with fire ecologist Philip Higuera. He stops and sniffs the air.
“We can smell the charcoal here,” he says. “You smell that?”
Higuera is a low-key guy with a trimmed beard and sporty sunglasses. But when I ask him whether the massive wildfire that raced across Lolo Peak in Montana last summer was bad, he corrects my choice of words.