Learn about the environmental damage done by wildfire.

After every fire, scientists and other experts attempt to turn some good from a bad situation by studying the effects of wildfire so that we can learn more.

What we know is that although wildfires are part of a natural cycle, a strict ‘hands-off’ approach can allow serious environmental damage to occur in ways that endanger delicate forest ecosystems.

See how much greenhouse gas emissions were produced from wildfires in 2015.

“In 2015, wildfire was the 2nd biggest emitter of carbon across all activities in Washington.”

Hydrophobic soil: When fire is fierce enough to cause soil to repel water.

Soil has a very important role in every forest ecosystem, not only as a material in which trees and vegetation grow, but also as a ‘manager’ to smooth out uneven flows of water.

When it rains or when snow melts in the forest, healthy soil absorbs runoff which curtails erosion and prevents high volumes of sediment from clogging streams and lowering water quality.

But after catastrophic fires, the soil can become very unhealthy, waxy, and water-repellent.

Read about hydrophobic soil in an article from the University of Idaho >>

>>Return to the wildfire homepage.

"Our first line of defense is the condition of the forests. Right now, our forests are stressed out."