Monitoring is crucial for understanding how species are immediately impacted by, and then respond to, destructive events like megafires. However, monitoring programs should be designed to have a high chance at detecting impacts and recovery, should they occur. For 119 species, we combined species distribution models with remotely sensed fire severity maps from the 2019–20 fires to simulate a range of plausible recoveries in occupancy to pre-fire levels. We combined these with estimates of detectability, and simulated monitoring at sites to evaluate the statistical power of alternative monitoring designs. We tested the performance of budget scenarios from $1M – $100M over 10 years.