Catastrophic wildfires ravage extensive areas of the country. Experts warn of more frequent fires as populations expand to the urban-wildlands interface. Impacts from a wildfire go beyond burnt vegetation. The potential for severe soil erosion and accelerated water runoff exists after a wildfire due to the lack of plant material to stabilize the soil. Soil erosion and water runoff can cause severe damage to property and pose safety hazards.
The Plant Materials Program develops plants and techniques for rehabilitation of burned lands and evaluates the ability of plants and landscaping methods to lessen fire damage and protect lives in populated areas.