Effect of fire on water supplies gets renewed attention

 

Wildland fire GTR coverWith the western United States facing its most severe wildfire season on record, research on the wide-ranging impacts of wildland fire has never been more relevant. Forest Service science studying how large, severe fires can affect water quality and quantity is in the news again, covered recently in a story from the North Carolina State University College of Natural Resources News. The story highlights research by NC State scientist and Threat Center collaborator Dennis Hallema, and Threat Center scientist Ge Sun, to help understand potential consequences of recent fire activity. Hallema and Sun discuss how drinking water can be directly impacted, as well as wide-ranging economic and ecological consequences of changing water quality, streamflow, and sediment loads. The news story draws attention to research by Hallema, Sun, and other Forest Service colleagues investigating how forest fires impact river flows and affect water availability.

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Pictured: Large wildland fires can change the quantity and seasonality of river flows and water supplies. Photo USDA Forest Service.

 

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