Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM


HOGUE, Terri S.1, KINOSHITA, Alicia M.2 and MICHELETTY, Paul D.2, (1)Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois Street, Golden, CO 80401, (2)Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois St, Golden, CO 80401,

The western U.S. has experienced increasing wildfire activity due to drier conditions, elevated fuel loads, and expanding urbanization. As population increases, development pushes the urban boundary further into wildlands, creating increased potential for fires at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), primarily from human ignitions and fire suppression policies. The immediate impacts of wildfires include vulnerability to debris flows, flooding, and impaired water quality. Fires also alter longer-term hydrological and ecosystem behavior, with recovery dependent on pre- and post-disturbance climatology, in situ geophysical and hydrologic parameters, time since disturbance, and ongoing anthropogenic influences. This presentation will overview ongoing work evaluating hydrologic and geochemical response as well as longer-term recovery to wildfires. We specifically highlight case studies in southern California and more recently, the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado. A variety of theoretical, experimental and field studies are being utilized to better understand and predict both physical and chemical impacts in burned systems and the increasing risk to downstream communities. Ultimately, results are providing information on short and long-term risks associated with wildfire and to resource agencies that are responsible for mitigation and management of post-fire impacts.