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MTU Researcher Working To Fight Post-Wildfire Dangers

A Michigan Tech researcher is using her skills to help with the aftermath of wildfires.

About 130,000 acres have been scorched in more than 20 major fires actively burning in California, according to the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Earlier this month, about $150,000 of cut timber went up in smoke during the Humboldt Fire that burned roughly 100 acres in Marquette County.

But the flames are only the beginning of the danger.

Post-fire flooding and landslides can threaten lives, property and natural resources.

Tech Today reports that Research Engineer Mary Ellen Miller at Michigan Tech’s Research Institute, uses models and NASA earth observations to help predict erosion and runoff in areas burned by wildfire.

After a fire, Burned Area Emergency Response teams are formed to assess potential erosion and flood risks.

Miller and her research team are working hard to prepare tools and datasets that allow the teams to rapidly assess and predict post-fire effects.

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