Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Peter R. Robichaud; Louise E. Ashmun; Bruce D. Sims
    Date: 2010
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-240. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 62 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (4.97 MB)


    This synthesis of post-fire treatment effectiveness reviews the past decade of research, monitoring, and product development related to post-fire hillslope emergency stabilization treatments, including erosion barriers, mulching, chemical soil treatments, and combinations of these treatments. In the past ten years, erosion barrier treatments (contour-felled logs and straw wattles) have declined in use and are now rarely applied as a post-fire hillslope treatment. In contrast, dry mulch treatments (agricultural straw, wood strands, wood shreds, etc.) have quickly gained acceptance as effective, though somewhat expensive, post-fire hillslope stabilization treatments and are frequently recommended when values-at-risk warrant protection. This change has been motivated by research that shows the proportion of exposed mineral soil (or conversely, the proportion of ground cover) to be the primary treatment factor controlling post-fire hillslope erosion. Erosion barrier treatments provide little ground cover and have been shown to be less effective than mulch, especially during short-duration, high intensity rainfall events. In addition, innovative options for producing and applying mulch materials have adapted these materials for use on large burned areas that are inaccessible by road. Although longer-term studies on mulch treatment effectiveness are on-going, early results and short-term studies have shown that dry mulches can be highly effective in reducing post-fire runoff and erosion. Hydromulches have been used after some fires, but they have been less effective than dry mulches in stabilizing burned hillslopes and generally decompose or degrade within a year.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Robichaud, Peter R.; Ashmun, Louise E.; Sims, Bruce D. 2010. Post-fire treatment effectiveness for hillslope stabilization. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-240. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 62 p.


    Google Scholar


    BAER, contour-felled logs, hydromulch, LEB, straw mulch, PAM, wood shreds, wood strands

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page