How do we reduce flood risks associated with wildfire?

Post-fire flood risks are reduced in many ways. Prevention of flooding and debris flows starts at the top of a watershed, with treatments applied within the burned area. These treatments can include mulching or seeding applied to hillsides to reduce erosion or construction of straw or log dams in channels to slow runoff and trap sediment. Armored stream crossings, upsized culverts, rolling dips, and water bars are methods used to improve the ability of roads and road structures to deal with flooding and sediment. Finally, alert systems can be installed and used to warn downstream communities of flash flooding and debris flows. With advanced notice community leaders, infrastructure operators, and homeowners can mobilize protection measures that ensure safety and reduce damage.  More information on specific tools can be found here. For more information on alert systems, click here.

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