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Stream water quality concerns linger long after the smoke clears: Learning from Front Range wildfires

Author(s): Charles C. Rhoades, Susan Miller, Tim Covino, Alex Chow, Frank McCormick
Year Published: 2017
Description:

Large, high-severity wildfires alter the ecological processes that determine how watersheds retain and release nutrients and affect stream water quality. These changes usually abate a few years after a fire but recent studies indicate they may persist longer than previously expected. Wildfires are a natural disturbance agent, but due to the increased frequency and extent of high-severity wildfires predicted for western North America, it is important to better understand their consequences on surface water. The close proximity of the Hayman, High Park and other recent wildfires to growing Front Range communities has highlighted the challenges of source water protection in watersheds vulnerable to severe wildfire.

Citation: Rhoades C, Miller S, Covino T, Chow A, McCormick F. 2017. Stream water quality concerns linger long after the smoke clears: Learning from Front Range wildfires. Colorado Water March/April, p. 22-26.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Water
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 16534
FRAMES RCS number: 24383
Record updated: Jan 31, 2018