Fire and Watershed Recovery

Flash flooding and debris flows are a VERY serious safety threat post fire - for YEARS to come.  That is why Grand County and Northern Water are focused on watershed assessment, recovery, and early warning systems.  For example, the pictures below depict what happened to one house two years after the 2016 Hayden Pass fire near Coaldale, CO.

Hayden Pass Post Fire #1

Hayden Pass Post Fire #2

Hayden Pass Post Fire #3

Hayden Pass Post Fire #4

National Weather Service Flash Flood Threat Within Fire Burn Scar

-The National Weather Service provides essential information regarding flash floods and debris flow events post fire. They state that a good rule of thumb is, "If you can look uphill from where you are and see a burnt-out area, you are at risk."

Colorado Geological Survey Debris and Mud Flows

-Colorado Geological Survey explains debris and mud flows and how to stay safe post-fire.  Click the link above for more information and watch the video below.

Watershed RecoveryWatershed Fire Map

Grand County and Northern Water are partnering and collaborating with other critical partners to ensure the most efficient and effective coordination of emergency watershed restoration efforts in areas of Grand County affected by the East Troublesome Fire.  Please refer to the fact sheets below regarding the most recent efforts to help the watersheds recover.

February 2021 - Fact Sheet #2

January 2021 - Fact Sheet #1

For additional information on fire recovery:

Northern Water Fire Recovery Page

-Grand County and Northern Water are the main partners leading the watershed recovery effort.

USDA's Emergency Watershed Protection Program

-Grand County has applied for assistance through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP).  The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service created this program to allow communities to quickly address serious and long-lasting damages to infrastructure and to the land.

USGS East Troublesome Fire Debris Flow Map

-The United States Geological Survey (USGS) created a map depicting the likelihood of debris-flow generation and the estimates of flow magnitude in locations where debris flows initiate.  This is vitally important to assess for community safety.

Coalitions and Collaboratives Post Fire Resources

-A comprehensive page of website links that are valuable to post-fire recovery and restoration information.  Coalitions and Collaboratives says, "After a catastrophic wildfire, quick action must be taken to minimize social, environmental, and economic devastation.  Responsive action requires navigating a complex maze of diverse landowners, community organizations, and numerous local and federal requirements."

Free Webinars and Volunteer Opportunities

Colorado Forest Health Advisory Council Listening Session

March 3, 2021, 12:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Free to attend. Click here to register.

Colorado 2020 Wildfire Webinar Series

-Southern Rockies Fire Science Network posts weekly webinars where you can learn from experts in the science, management, and policy of wildland fire from across Colorado.

CSU Extension Office:

1) Reseeding Following Wildfire:  February 18th webinar recording.

2) Trees & Forest Health:  Considerations for Planting Seedling Trees after Wildfire. February 25th webinar recording.


Grand County needs your help! You can help keep our communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.  They will be providing FREE training that will emphasize burn scar flooding.

To become a certified Skywarn severe weather spotter sign up and attend the virtual training below:

When: April 20th, 2021 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (MDT)

Where: Webinar

Sign up: