Mushroom hunting heating up in wake of Northwest wildfires

From flames come fungi.

That means mushroom hunters are checking maps outlining last year's many Northwest wildfires before heading into forests this month searching for the easily identifiable and woodsy-tasting morels.

The spongey-looking delicacies have defied commercial cultivation and can retail for $20 a pound.

The National Interagency Fire Center says nearly a million acres of U.S. Forest Service land burned last year in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, much of it now prime mushroom-hunting territory. Maps of specific wildfire perimeters are available online at the Forest Service's InciWeb.

Harvesters who want the mushrooms for personal use can gather up to 5 gallons a day without a permit.

On expert says getting away from roads and hiking into the forest is a good strategy to find more mushrooms.