Water quality can be substantially diminished for several years after wildfire in response to relatively common local thunderstorms, according to a recent USGS study.
USGS scientists led by research hydrologist Sheila Murphy collected extensive streamflow and water-quality data for three years after the Fourmile Canyon Fire, Colo., in a geographic setting typical of the American southwest. They then correlated the results with data from a high-density rain gage network.
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Evaluating the effects of wildfire on stream processes in a Colorado front range watershed, USA. Murphy, S.F., and Writer, J.H. (2011): Applied Geochemistry 26 (S1): S363-S364.
Wildfire Effects on Source-Water Quality—Lessons from Fourmile Canyon Fire, Colorado, and Implications for Drinking-Water Treatment. Writer, J.H. and Murphy, S.F. (2012): U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3095, 4 p.
10 Feb 2011 - Boulder Creek CZO and USGS are collaborating to evaluate the effects of the September 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire.