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Tree trunk with up-stream face scoured by debris flow, Paradise Acres, Huerfano County, Colorado, September 2018. Photo credit: Jon Lovekin for the CGS.

HAZ-2021-01 Post-wildfire Hazards

2021-06-23 | CGS Admin

Noting that we were getting hundreds of search hits on a previous version of an info-brochure that we originally published in 2010, we decided to issue a new, updated version: HAZ-2021-01 Post-wildfire Hazards: Mud Slides :: Debris Flows. The subject is unfortunately very relevant given the exceptional drought conditions in the US West and elsewhere in the world exacerbating the threat of major wildfires.

During the 2020 fire season, Colorado suffered three of its largest wildfires on record: Cameron Peak, East Troublesome, and Pine Gulch, totaling almost 450,000 acres (700 mi2, 1800 km2). Of course, if we don’t get any more rain, we don’t have to worry much about mud flows! But seriously, the problem of post-wildfire hazards is only going to get worse. If you or anyone you know lives in an area that has seen wildfire activity in the past decade, it’s best to become acquainted with the threat that these hazards pose to life, limb, and property.

(ED: On a side note, coincidently, the New York Times just published an informative story on the effects of post-wildfire conditions on our water supply.)

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Citations

Colorado Geological Survey. “HAZ-2021-01 Post-wildfire Hazards: Mudslides and Debris Flows.” Colorado Geological Survey, June 2021. https://coloradogeologicalsurvey.org/publications/post-wildfire-mud-slides-debris-flows/.

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Hazards, Publications

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CGS, debris flow, digital, fire, free, hazards, landslide, mudslide, pdf, publication, water, wildfire