Impact of monsoon after wildfires

Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 9:25 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - While the chance for rain is a good sign in helping end wildfires, flash-flooding is almost always a worry after a fire.

Researchers at the University of Arizona said it's because stabilizing materials for the ground, like plants and trees, are burnt.

In a severe fire, the soil itself is so burnt, it can actually repel water, which means water and mud will run right off.

With nowhere to go but downhill, flash flooding is possible and could threaten nearby homes.

UA researchers said it really does have to be the perfect storm for that to happen.

"Flooding and erosion are always concerns, but it really just depends on having that convergence of intense localized storm on top of a wildfire area," Molly Hunter, a research scientist, said.

After fires are out, restoration teams go in and work to stabilize hard-hit areas to reduce erosion and flooding risk.

But as we all know, monsoons pop up fast.

It's important to be prepared, just like during wildfire season.

  • Know the threat
  • Know where to go if you need to evacuate
  • Sign up for alerts

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