Fire Probability, Erosion Susceptibility, and Post-Wildfire Sediment Management
The basic hypotheses of this research is that wildfire probability information combined with potential fire intensity and soil erodibility information will yield a useful tool for Reclamation facility managers. The product would be maps showing wildfire probability along with post-wildfire sediment yield potential. This will allow facility managers to decide how to respond in case of wildfire upstream of their facility.
Need and Benefit
Most Reclamation facilities are located downstream from forested watershed. The recent series of high-intensity wildfires in the Western United States has made Reclamation facility managers aware of the potential for severe fires upstream. However, there is very little information available for facility managers on whether or not a response is required following a fire to prevent adverse impact to the facility.
Basic information on wildfire probability and the associated post-fire sediment yield would aid facility managers in making decisions about the risk of fire and how to respond following a fire. The Hayman Fire, last year in the Colorado Front Range south of Denver, and the sediment yield that followed raised concerns about the potential for a similar fire upstream of a Colorado-Big Thompson Project facility. This research would assemble and analyze this information for this project, providing facility managers with knowledge before there is a fire.
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