Are there risks we aren't considering for wildfires?
By Brent Miyazaki
What are we missing about wildfire risks?
Fire history affects wildfire risks. Vegetation changes are directly associated with wildfires. In addition to consuming existing vegetation, the new landscape is open to different vegetation types, both native and invasive.
While conducting field reconnaissance surveys in 2019 and 2020 in support of wildfire mitigation evaluations, I observed that there were many trees that were not entirely consumed by the fires but still the fires caused them extensive stress.
Landslides and debris flows
In the geologic world, there are several different forms of naturally occurring mass earth movement events — landslides, rockfalls, debris flows, and mudflows, to name a few. Some of these events present direct risks, such as a landslide or rockfall downing power lines.
Raptors, rodents, cattle, and other wildlife can affect electrical equipment. During my decades of utility experience, I have heard about or personally seen the destructive power of wildlife.