Jun Wang, Michelle A. Stern, Vanessa M. King, Charles N. Alpers, Nigel W.T. Quinn, Alan L. Flint, Lorraine E. Flint
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Effects
Ecological - Second Order
Post-fire Management

FRAMES RCS Number: 58958
Record updated: February 5, 2020
NRFSN number: 20725

Runoff increases after wildfires that burn vegetation and create a condition of soil-water repellence (SWR). A new post-fire watershed hydrological model, PFHydro, was created to explicitly simulate vegetation interception and SWR effects for four burn severity categories: high, medium, low severity and unburned. The model was applied to simulate post-fire runoff from the Upper Cache Creek Watershed in California, USA. Nash–Sutcliffe modeling efficiency (NSE) was used to assess model performance. The NSE was 0.80 and 0.88 for pre-fire water years (WY) 2000 and 2015, respectively. NSE was 0.88 and 0.93 for WYs 2016 (first year post-fire) and 2017 respectively. The simulated percentage of surface runoff in total runoff of WY 2016 was about six times that of pre-fire WY 2000 and three times that of WY 2015. The modeling results suggest that SWR is an important factor for post-fire runoff generation. The model was successful at simulating SWR behavior.


Wang, Jun; Stern, Michelle A.; King, Vanessa M.; Alpers, Charles N.; Quinn, Nigel W.T.; Flint, Alan L.; Flint, Lorraine E. 2020. PFHydro: a new watershed-scale model for post-fire runoff simulation. Environmental Modelling & Software 123:104555.

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