Why do flash floods happen after intense wildfires?

Infographic illustrating changes in infiltration and runoff that happen when a forest burns

The short answer:

Under normal conditions, when it rains a lot of that water soaks into the ground. Intense wildfires remove vegetation and burn the soil making it harder for water to soak in. This means that more water flows directly into streams and rivers and this can lead to flash flooding, especially in mountainous regions. Additionally, downed trees can also be swept downstream leading to dangerous debris flows.

On Social Media:

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Facebook Post about Monsoon season

Media Downloads:


Name Description Size Length
Flash Floods & Wildfires Animation (zip) Video (mp4) with no voiceover or captions plus English script 120 MB 43s
Flash Floods & Wildfires English Voice (zip) Video (mp4) with English voiceover and captions 120 MB 50s

References and Additional Resources

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