A double whammy: Wildfire debris pollutes drinking water

February 8, 2023
A burned watershed warning sign that was burned in the Rim Fire marks the entrance to a damaged area. Large wildfires like the Rim Fire, which burned 256,000 acres of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park in 2013, can have detrimental effects on water supplies for decades. Photo: USDA Forest Service, Chris Stewart.

Wildfires, which have intensified with climate change, can contaminate drinking water supplies after a heavy rain. AGCI’s Tanya Petach and Energy Innovation’s Alex Urquhart examine wildfires’ long-term impacts on water quality and the need for fire-resilient water systems in this piece for Yale Climate Connections.