International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire

Impacts of the 1988 Wildfires on the Water-Quality of Yellowstone and Lewis Lakes, Wyoming

RG jr. Lathrop

International Journal of Wildland Fire 4(3) 169 - 175
Published: 1994


The objective of this paper is to examine whether the severity and great extent of the 1988 Yellow-stone fires impacted the water quality of two of Yellowstone's major lakes. Analysis of water quality records for Yellowstone and Lewis Lakes collected over a fifteen year period (1976-1991) have shown only a minimal shift in lake water quality following the fires. Though 25 percent of their watersheds were heavily burned, these lakes appear to be large enough to dilute increased inputs and have experienced few lasting effects from the 1988 fires. The relative importance of landwater interactions in affecting the water quality of Yellowstone's large lakes must be viewed in the context of a multitude of other factors, including changing atmospheric deposition and hydrothermal inputs.

Keywords: Forest fire impacts; Lake water quality; Yellowstone National Park

© IAWF 1994

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