Special Session – Wildfires, Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Implications

Special Session – Wildfires, Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Implications


Arvin Farid
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
Boise State University, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, USA

Idil D. Akin
Associate Professor
North Carolina State University, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, USA


Session Description

This technical session will focus on various geotechnical and geoenvironmental implications of wildfires, including wildfire impacts on the soil environment and properties, disasters caused by these impacts, ways to mitigate those, and restoration of soil to its original conditions. Some of the above-mentioned wildfire impact on soil are soil hydrophobicity, leading to short- and long-term disasters such as promotion of scour, slope instability, and soil mobilization, as well as prevent revegetation, reforestation, and reclamation of burnt areas. Natural disasters and sustainability are two important topics of concern to all scientists and engineers, including geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineers. Due to the extension of hot and dry seasons and regions across the globe, wildfires, that used to be limited to certain areas in the western United States, are now common across the globe with increasing frequency and intensity. In addition to the immediate and direct impacts of wildfires, wildfires have various impacts on the soil environment leading to various geoenvironmental and geotechnical implications that are not well understood and hence lack mitigating strategies. Hence, this session fits well within the conference themes on sustainability and natural disasters.