Flood risk increases after wildfires: learn how to reduce your risk

September 15, 2017

Smoky air could harm health.
Smoky air could
Floods are the most common and costly natural hazard in the nation. Whether caused by heavy rain, melting snow or thunderstorms, the results of flooding can be devastating.

While some floods develop over time, flash floods—particularly common after wildfires—can occur within minutes after the onset of a rainstorm. Even areas that are not traditionally floodprone are at risk, due to changes to the landscape caused by fire.

The recent Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge presents a severe risk of floods and landslides now that trees and plants have burned on many steep hillsides. Residents can protect their homes and assets with flood insurance now—before a weather event occurs and it’s too late.  And the public should avoid areas prone to flood after rains in a wildfire zone.

See this fact sheet for tips on reducing damage from floods after a wildfire and how to remain safe. Flood after fire fact sheet (619.39 KB)