Geology Talks: Evaluating Post-fire Landscapes and Watershed Responses After the 2019 Museum Fire

Tuesday, January 11 at 6 pm

This is an in-person event with a Zoom option. Registration for Zoom is required. Meeting rooms will have limited capacity. Staff will be wearing masks and face coverings for attendees are strongly advised.

The 2019 Museum Fire burned nearly 2,000 acres of forested, steep terrain abutting the Flagstaff city limits in northern Arizona. In addition to the immediate dangers posed by the fire, businesses and neighborhoods downstream of the burn scar are now threatened by post-fire flooding. The threat to the public and critical infrastructure has prompted a multi-agency cooperation to evaluate the burned watersheds response to rainfall and snowmelt, document watershed recovery, and evaluate efficacy of applied stabilization projects in reducing erosion and peak runoff. From fall 2019 to present, we employed geomorphic surveying techniques to evaluate these parameters. During this period, Flagstaff experienced its driest and second driest monsoons on record, followed by a significantly wet monsoon, which provided the opportunity to document watershed response under these unique conditions.

Rebecca Beers graduated from NAU in 2020 with a master’s degree in geology, focusing on post-fire geomorphology. Her work has focused on post-fire landscapes across western New Mexico and Arizona, including the Museum burn scar. On the Museum, Rebecca has collaborated with multiple agencies to better understand the ever-changing conditions on the burned landscape.

Geology Talks are in partnership with ​GEM Environmental and presented with funding from the Friends of the Prescott Public Library.