The June 2005 Cave Creek Complex Fire is one of the largest historic wildfires to affect Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Post-fire gullying was measured using 1:1900-scale aerial photographs. Detailed comparisons of pre-fire and post-fire imagery, selected using a stratified randomly sampling approach, reveal far more gullies formed in contact with dirt roads than adjacent wildlands, approximately four times more frequently. Post-fire gullies that did not form in contact with roads covered approximately 0.18 percent of the analyzed imagery after the 2005 Arizona monsoon and approximately 0.24 percent after the 2006 Arizona monsoon. Extrapolating this percentage to the total area burned, we estimate gullying to have impacted 456 acres after the 2005 Arizona monsoon and 592 acres after the 2006 Arizona monsoon. A corresponding field-based investigation reveals both deepening and widening of gullying over time.


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pp. 182-195
Launched on MUSE
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