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The fireweed is associated with disturbed open areas (as in after a fire). It is a perennial with a rhizome root structure, but also casts voluminous amounts of seed in a fluffy package like thistles which will travel great distances in the open with the benefit of some fall wind.
The plant is most usually a single stock often 6 feet or more tall with a flower spike on top and multiple plants are usually found at a single location.
Additional information: see Wikpedia - Fireweed