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Forest fires good news for mushroom-lovers

Morel mushrooms (iStock, Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There is actually a culinary bright spot when it comes to the wildfires plaguing much of British Columbia.

Paul Kroeger with the Vancouver Mycology Society says there is a whole suite of mushroom species that thrive in scorched-earth, post-wildfire forest.

“A forest fire passing through will change the chemistry and PH balance of the soil surroundings and then the heat treatment of the ground will probably eliminate a lot of fugi that aren’t tolerant of high temperatures.”

The mushroom that does best? The morel.

“Morels takeover the space that is available and they thrive and produce the morel fruits and they’re ready for the next time a forest fire comes by,” Kroeger says.

He says there is quite an industry both locally and for export in BC.

And come the spring, there will quite the competition among pickers checking out land recently charred by forest fires.

“Oh yeah, there’s usually quite a pilgrimage to burn sites in the spring for those that know about morels.”