The recovery of tundra vegetation and the depth of permafrost thaw were observed on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, the site of a wildfire in 2002. The study compared the vegetation in burned and adjacent unburned tundra from 5 to 10 years post-fire. The effects of the fire on the vegetation varied between species and were spatially variable at the stand scale. The cover of evergreen shrubs, bryophytes, and lichens was still drastically decreased 5 years after the fire and had not recovered even 10 years after the fire. By contrast, the cover of graminoids, especially Eriophorum vaginatum, and of the deciduous shrub Vaccinium uliginosum increased. The depth of permafrost thaw increased, and its spatial pattern was related to vegetation structure; specifically, deeper thaw corresponded to graminoid-rich areas, and shallower thaw corresponded to shrub-rich areas. As the E. vaginatum cover increased, the thaw depth recovered to that of the unburned area, and the spatial variation had disappeared 10 years after the fire. Our results indicate that both the prefire vegetation structure and the differences in the regrowth properties between species play important roles in the early stage of tundra ecosystem recovery after wildfire. Our findings also show that the favorable growing conditions related to deeper thaw do not last long. © 2015 Regents of the University of Colorado.