How are the aftereffects of wildfire managed?

Wildfires cause flooding, increasing sediment movement.

August 1, 2013
Las Conchas fire fighter in foreground; fire in Los Alamos Canyon in background

Las Conchas fire fighters in Los Alamos Canyon

    LANL is located in high-desert region where the potential for wildfires is high. To protect the public and the environment from catastrophic wildfires, LANL regularly thins trees and clears underbrush. Santa Fe National Forest and Bandelier National Park also perform these fire protective measures as well as prescribed burns to reduce the severity of wildfires.

    Sediment control measures are inspected and augmented to ensure their effectiveness after wildfires.

    Fires are a necessary part of managing a healthy forest

    Provided they happen often, fires keep forests healthy. Forests around the Laboratory burned every 10-15 years until the arrival of Europeans, who began escalating deforestation and fire suppression, as referenced in an April 2016 Lab lecture by Thomas W. Swetnam, Regents’ Professor of Dendrochronology, Emeritus Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona.

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