Oct. 27, 2014 03:31

Wildfires Create Risk for Erosion

Trees, brush and other vegetation absorb rain; their roots secure soil, especially if they’re along slopes. A recent wildfire destroyed such plant life near Okanogan, Washington, threatening the city with soil erosion and floods.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flood risk in the area remains at an elevated level for five years after a fire. The Okanogan Conservation District has advised residents both next to and downstream from the last fires to immediately take measures to prevent erosion and flooding on their properties. They also advised residents to monitor the weather closely, clean out their drainage systems and look into purchasing flood insurance.

In many ways, we are fortunate that, in our chosen profession, we are able to help people when certain disasters occur: the tornadoes in Missouri, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Georgia, the flooding in Louisiana, the snows in the northeastern part of the country, the rain in California, and the snow in Colorado....

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