This study compared unburned and burned sites to determine how cheatgrass and native wheatgrass abundance and distribution varied. Wheatgrass density increased in high-nutrient areas. Soil cores from burned microsites were also transplanted to a controlled area and seeded with either wheatgrass or cheatgrass to determine microsite effects on plant establishment and growth. There were differences in microsite soil properties, which were not affected by plant growth, and differences in growth but not establishment of grass seeds. Microsites are likely important for post-fire resistance of rangeland to cheatgrass establishment.