Select Page

As the frequency and severity of wildfires in the U.S. grows, researchers are scrambling to measure and identify risk to infrastructure. It’s not just wildfires that can damage transportation infrastructure; it’s the flooding that comes afterward.

More from a recent paper published in Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure:

● Transportation infrastructure is vulnerable to postfire flooding, which can be many times larger than the level of flow that the original engineer considered when designing the infrastructure;

● The vulnerability of infrastructure to post-fire flooding varies according to physical factors of the associated drainage area including size, slope, and its variation throughout the drainage area, and the severity of the fire;

● When post-fire flooding overwhelms the transportation infrastructure failures inevitably occur and communities have varying levels of risk depending on the nature of the infrastructure that exists, its vulnerability to post-fire flooding, and the level of redundancy in the transportation infrastructure for that community; and

● In addition to protecting human life and communities, wildfire mitigation efforts need to consider areas that are at high risk to post-fire impacts due to losses in critical infrastructure.