Post Wildfire Rehabilitation

This page is under construction... keep coming back until I remove this line as I will be enhancing this over the next few weeks.
Unfortunately, over the last few decades, a new field of forestry is emerging. As more and more acres are burned by  fires with intensities outside of the range of natural variation, practices are evolving to help heal the harm done by hot, hot temperatures. As this is a relatively new field with limited access to information, I was asked by some friends in the Raton area to put this page together. I am including my own opinions and experiences, links to materials, information, and similar sites, and some "lessons learned". I put this out here as a professional forester, but not as representative of my current employer.
  • INCREASED RUN-OFF:  Potential for erosion, flooding, and soil loss following a crown fire is immense. On the Hayman Fire in Colorado, researchers suggested that prior to the burn, approximately 2% of the rainfall in a watershed entered the streams as surface runoff. After the fire, 70% of the rainfall would end up draining out of the watershed, often carrying large amounts of sediment with it. Based on this analysis, a small creek in an area downstream of a large burn might have 35X the amount of water in it as it had before.
  • HYDROPHOBIC SOILS:  When the soil is exposed to extreme temperatures, the chemical structure of the soil can change and create a waxy film that repels water. It is important to address this situation first before doing other actions to prevent erosion etc. The "good news" is that this when the fire burns through the crowns, this condition is not as likely because the heat was above the ground. It is more likely that hydrophobic soils form where there is a lot of large fuels on the ground when the intense fire moves through.
    • Cereal Grains first
    • Perennial grasses
    • Monitoring
    • Log Erosion Barriers
    • Contour Felling
    • Wattles
    • Silt Fences
    • Keep the drainages clear
    • Culvert Cleaning
    • Sizing culverts appropriately
Lessons learned: