What Happens to Fish After a Wildfire?

A helicopter dropping water on a forest fisre

With temperatures on the rise due to global climate change, wildfires will be having a greater impact on fish stocks than ever before.

When a wildfire rages, some animals fly, hop, or run to safety. But fish can’t.

During a fire, the temperature of a stream or river will sometimes rise to a lethal degree. If a fish survives without being cooked, short-term changes to its environment might finish it off. Denuded stream banks erode quickly, with topsoil and ash clouding streams and making it difficult for fish to breathe or find food. Even firefighting efforts are a threat: foam fire suppressants can suffocate fish, while fire retardants can be toxic.

LINK (via: Hakai Magazine)

One thought on “What Happens to Fish After a Wildfire?

  1. Yep. But one interesting fact is that cutthroat tend to repopulate streams that have had fish kills from fire effects much faster than non-native fish. And the flush of nutrients can also increase the growth of fish post-fire over baseline.

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