Hydrophobic Soil and Erosion
Not only will a fire destroy the trees, vines, shrubs, grasses and litter layer that bind the soil together and disperse rainwater evenly throughout the terrain, but the intense heat can also coat the soil in a waxy substance that actively repels water and increases runoff. The danger of soil erosion is greatest when:
- The litter layer has burned off, leaving the ground bare.
- The canopy has burned away.
- The fire was intense.
- Slopes are steep.
- Rainfall is extreme (El Nino conditions).
- Soil appears to no longer absorb moisture.
Landowners who act quickly can protect their property from post-fire soil erosion. Effective erosion control measures include slash spreading, mulching and seeding, and installing log terraces, straw bales, waterbars or fiber rolls.
Our team of experienced civil engineers can assist landowners in creating a plan for erosion control. To learn more, contact us at 707-433-0134, or find us on Facebook, Google+ and subscribe to our blog.