The effects of fire burning burned waters are known as a ‘less studied’ phenomena. However, as the frequency of wildfires has increased, so have pollutants in the waters from burned watersheds, discovered researchers at the American Geophysical Union.

In a review paper, they highlighted the trends in water after wildfires across 184 scientific papers since 1980. They identified that stream flow often increases for a few years following a wildfire, as do sediments and water temperature.

Nutrients also often increased, along with toxic metals and some organic chemicals, which sometimes reach 10 to 100 times higher concentrations than pre-fire levels.

The authors write that they hope their review will help water quality managers and communities plan for, and recover from, the impacts of wildfires on their water. You can find more info here.