The total pools of carbon and nitrogen in the liner, duff, and soil compartments were quantified in a mature pinyon-juniper woodland. One hectare of the woodland was burned in a fire similar to a severe wildfire, where almost all aboveground vegetation was killed. Soil temperatures reached as high as 325 degrees C at 5 cm below the soil surface. The total nutrient pools were again quantified after fire indicating significant losses of both C and N from forest floor material. The litter loss of C was as high as 92 percent and N loss was as high as 88 percent. Loss of C from the duff layer was estimated from 78-80 percent, while nitrogen loss was 75 percent. Soil N displayed a slight, significant increase under canopy, but not in the interspaces. The greatest initial effect was the reduction of the C/N ratios favoring mineralization. The total amount of C and N lost from the woodland was 12.6 Mg/ha C and 167 kg/ha N.