Study: Without forest treatment, wildfire above Fort Valley means inundation

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The scenario is far from unlikely: a wildfire rips through the forest that covers the southwest flank of the San Francisco Peaks above Fort Valley and Baderville. Soon after that, heavy monsoon rains sweep through the area, causing a 100-year flood event. …The study focused on Fort Valley and Williams, aiming to determine the extent of flooding both communities would see if nearby forests burned and then were hit with heavy rains. Then, the modeling was shifted to gauge the potential for forest treatment operations to reduce post-wildfire flooding impacts. The authors produced projections for a handful of scenarios: first, if the forest remains unburned; second, if the forest is treated with tree thinning and prescribed fire and then sees wildfire; and third, if the forest remains untreated and burns in a wildfire. Those scenarios show forest treatment makes a big difference.

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