Saturday, August 11, 2012

Highway 55 Landslide Linked to Wildfires

Posted By on Sat, Aug 11, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Road closures took place on Highway 55 after a wildfire in July, and later a landslide earlier this week made the road unsafe. Law wnforcement officials were called out twice this summer to close the stretch of highway because of unsafe conditions.

However, now David Olson of the Boise National Forest said the landslide could be a result of the wildfire, which by burning trees and plant life, destabilizes the soil. He told KTVB that a hillside has little plant life following a fire, and any rainfall washes the soil away.

Large trees consumed in a fire leave behind roots in the soil. As those die, within the eight- to 10-year range, soil continues to destabilize.

The Forest Service said risks of landslide increase 80 to 90 percent following a fire.

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