Buried in mud: Wildfires threaten North American water supplies

When rainstorms follow large and severe wildfires, they tend to flush ash, nutrients, heavy metals and toxins, and sediments into streams and rivers. This contamination from wildfires causes problems for the health of downstream rivers and lakes, as well as safe drinking water production.


The Rim Fire burned 256,000 acres of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park in 2013. (USDA Forest Service, Chris Stewart)CC BY

The Conversation
February 11, 2020 – https://theconversation.com/buried-in-mud-wildfires-threaten-north-american-water-supplies-130356


  1. François-Nicolas RobinnePostdoctoral fellow in Environmental Geography, University of Alberta
  2. Dennis W. HallemaResearch Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University
  3. Kevin D. BladonAssistant Professor, Oregon State University

As rain offers a welcome relief to fire-scorched Australia,concernsover flash floods and freshwater contamination cast a shadow on the joy. Already,massive fish killshave been reported due to heavy ash and sediment in local stream.

Local reservoirsandmunicipal water suppliesmight become so polluted from the fires that the current water supply infrastructure will be challenged or could no longer treat the water.

Flash floods and water contamination after large-scale wildfires are emerging as real hazards in Australia and many other places, threatening drinking water, ecosystems, infrastructures…

View original post 527 more words

2 thoughts on “Buried in mud: Wildfires threaten North American water supplies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.