Ecosystem restoration, fuel management and even some invasive plant programs reduce fuels and resulting severity of any wildfires that may still occur. The severe 2003 fire season in BC resulted in major erosion and mass movement incidents on several interface fires, a phenomenon that had not previously been as extensively documented in BC.
Severe fires occur when the soils and fuels are very dry, resulting in higher burn severity on the soil and subsequent increased risk of post-wildfire erosion and flooding. A new risk analysis and mitigation program is being implemented by the BC Forest Service with the help of the US Forest Service. Where warranted by risk, treatments to reduce postwildfire erosion are currently being applied and tested on the severely burned areas of the Springer and Sitkum fires in the West Kootenays.
Broadcast straw mulching from helicopters is the main treatment being used to prevent erosion and flooding on these fires. Test plots have also been installed using other products including broadcast seeding, WoodStraw and pulp wood chips. The use of reforestation is a consideration where there is high risk of snow avalanche or long-term slope stability hazard as a result of the fire.
Covert, S.A., Curran, M.P.; Jordan, P.. 2007. Post wildfire erosion and flooding risk mitigation and the effects of hillslope soil treatments (poster). Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FSP_Y081004a
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Soil, Conservation, Soils
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