The blackened landscape around Fort McMurray is far from a dead zone, despite a wildfire that has reduced more than 229,000 of hectares of boreal forest to cinders and ashes.
Amid the charred skeletons of spruce and still smouldering muskeg, Alberta's fire-loving insects are on the move.
"Its really spooky if you ever go to a burn after it's gone out," said Peter Heule, an insect expert with Edmonton's Royal Alberta Museum.
These long-antennaed creatures move quickly into areas torched by wildfire to find a nicely charred spot to lay their eggs. (Royal Alberta Museum )
"Every step you take, there is just ash and soot, and you see these little beetles shimmering like little jewels on these black-burned trees, laying their eggs and doing their thing."