Posted: Oct 3, 2012 6:38 PM by Keele Smith - KPAX News
Updated: Oct 4, 2012 6:55 AM
MISSOULA- This week's cold front is helping snuff out Montana's wildfires, but damage already done to the land could cause future problems. Wildfires have burned over a million acres in Montana this year, leaving many areas at an increased flood risk.
Vegetation normally absorbs rainfall and reduces runoff, but when wildfires destroy an area, it's harder for the ground to absorb water. When water moves over the land instead of soaking in, it creates conditions for flash flooding, erosion and mudflow.
It's a good idea to get flood insurance, said Montana DNRC Information Officer Paula Short.
"We are particularly concerned about homeowners that live on steep slopes down from a fire where they have an increased chance of erosion," Short said.
Flood coverage is available through most local insurance agencies, and new policies typically take 30 days to go into effect.