Wildfire Side Effect: Dead Trees Don't Use Water

May 15, 2018

The focus in wildfires tends to fall upon the damage: the trees lost, the homes destroyed. 

But ecologists often remind us that fire is part of the forest ecosystem, ultimately necessary for a forest to remain healthy. 

And fires also save water, if that makes any sense.  Think about it: dead trees do not pull water out of the ground and lose it through evaporation.  Which adds up to a lot of water saved in the last three decades. 

National Park Service hydrologist Jim Roche studies the phenomenon. 

He shares details of his studies with us.