Forests, Lands, and NR Operations

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Post-wildfire natural hazards risk analysis in British Columbia

Author(s) or contact(s): G. Hope, P. Jordan, R. Winkler, T. Giles, M. Curran, K. Soneff, and B. Chapman
Source: Forests, Lands, and NR Operations
Subject: Erosion, Flooding, Landslides, Risk Analysis, Wildfire
Series: Land Management Handbook
Other details:  Published 2015. Hardcopy is available.


Following a wildfire, the chances of soil erosion, floods, and landslides increase, and resultant damage downslope and downstream of the area burned may be catastrophic. This handbook describes the process of assessing change following wildfire, together with an evaluation of downslope and downstream risks to life, property, and infrastructure, or "elements at risk." The process described will help professionals adapt their knowledge and experience to post-wildfire natural hazard risk analyses. The minimum set of background data, field reviews, and other information that should be included in all assessments is described. Assessing and mapping soil burn severity is the important first step in any analysis, forming the basis for subsequent soil erosion, hydrology, and geomorphic hazard assessments. The last step, determination of partial risk for each hazard and element, is broadly described. Five British Columbia fire case studies illustrate the application of the procedure. Risk treatment options are discussed; emphasis is placed on upgrading of road drainage structures and slope treatments, especially mulching.

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Updated August 06, 2015