Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project Y051327

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Evaluation of fire site rehabilitation methods in terms of controlling erosion and sedimentation

Author(s): Scott, David F.
Imprint: Kelowna, B.C. : Okanagan University College, 2005
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Soil Erosion, British Columbia, Soil Conservation
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program


Soil erosion and debris flows following wildfires are two of the hazardous consequences of wildfires, and are of particular interest in the wildland/urban interface. This study examines the effectiveness of surface treatments to reduce soil losses after the wildfires of 2003 in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. Bark mulch, straw, needle cast and grass seeding are the treatments being studied. Sediment yield off hillslope plots is measured with the use of silt fences and related to rain events. The preliminary results indicated that, at all sites, the bark mulch, needle cast and straw mulch are effective in reducing soil losses. Fire-induced water repellency has been noted as one of the primary contributory factors that lead to hydrologic responses in watersheds. Repellency was measured using the Water Drop Penetration Test. Other site factors and human influences may have also played a role in determining sediment yields. Long-term maintenance of the sites is required to obtain reliable results. Understanding effective surface treatments to decrease soil losses will assist future planners in appropriate rehabilitative measures to limit soil erosion and subsequent debris flow processes in urban interfaces.

For further information, please contact David F. Scott, Okanagan University College (

Updated September 08, 2005 

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