Following recent flash flood warnings in the Cameron Peak burn scar, 9News interviewed Associate Professor Peter Nelson about his research to help reduce flash flooding by dropping mulch on wildfire burn scars. Burned land is especially bad at absorbing water, Nelson said, leading to flash floods for years to come.
“The soil becomes sealed, and in some cases the soil becomes hydrophobic, meaning water beads up and is repelled off of the surface.”
Nelson is researching whether dumping mulch over burn scars is an effective way of preventing that water from running off and causing floods. Helicopters drop wood chips onto the land to try to increase vegetation growth and stop water runoff.