Disaster upon disaster: Wildfires are contaminating the West’s depleting water with ashy sludge
Officials in Las Vegas, New Mexico, had barely finished battling the massive Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak wildfire earlier this month before they had to point their defenses toward another threat: the ash-filled erosion that could pollute their water…. Megafires aren’t just burning down homes, trees and wildlife in the West. They’re also destabilizing the soil. When it rains, thousands of tons of charred sediment flow into rivers and reservoirs used for drinking water…. “It’s literally like tasting dirt,” said Andy Fecko, general manager at the Placer County Water Agency in Auburn, California, a city that sits between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.
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