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Open AccessArticle

Characterizing Consecutive Flooding Events after the 2017 Mt. Salto Wildfires (Southern Italy): Hazard and Emergency Management Implications

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Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica (CNR-IRPI), via Cavour 4/6, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy
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Fondazione CIMA, via Magliotto 2, 17100 Savona, Italy
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Direzione Regionale Vigili del Fuoco Campania, via Del Sole 10, 80138 Napoli, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2663; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122663
Received: 16 October 2019 / Revised: 5 December 2019 / Accepted: 11 December 2019 / Published: 17 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Damaging Hydrogeological Events)
Every summer, wildfires affect thousands of steep watersheds in Italy, causing the partial or complete destruction of vegetation, and changes in soil hydraulic properties. Such effects alter the hydrologic response of watersheds, increasing post-fire debris and sediment-laden flow hazard. This study characterizes the most relevant predisposing and triggering factors for a sequence of four post-fire flooding events, which, in the late summer-autumn of 2017, affected Montoro village in southern Italy. This research work consists of a fire severity assessment based on multispectral satellite images, characterization of meteorological systems and related flood-triggering rainfall, and provides an overview of the damage that occurred in the repeatedly affected urban area using crowdsourced data. The research findings demonstrate that the analyzed area burned with moderate-high (64.4%) and low severity (35.6%) levels. All the flooding events were triggered by rainfall evaluated as non-extreme, but with relevant peak intensities (I10 and I30), associated with the first convective storms impacting the burned watersheds. The crowdsourced data highlight the fact that roads and buildings on footslopes were inundated by mud and debris transported by rapid flows. The study identifies a clear relationship between wildfires and flooding processes and provides useful information for hazard assessment and emergency management operations. View Full-Text
Keywords: andosols; fire severity; rainstorm; post-fire flooding response; remote sensing; VGI data; emergency management andosols; fire severity; rainstorm; post-fire flooding response; remote sensing; VGI data; emergency management
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Esposito, G.; Parodi, A.; Lagasio, M.; Masi, R.; Nanni, G.; Russo, F.; Alfano, S.; Giannatiempo, G. Characterizing Consecutive Flooding Events after the 2017 Mt. Salto Wildfires (Southern Italy): Hazard and Emergency Management Implications. Water 2019, 11, 2663.

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