March Blizzard Good for Hayman Burn Area

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Water experts say last week's blizzard is about the best thing that could have happened to the Hayman Fire burn area. That's because cool nights and cloudy days should keep flooding a minor threat, and slow-melting snowpack is much less erosive than pounding summer rainstorms.

Colorado State University professor Lee MacDonald says flows from melting snow might produce one or two inches of runoff in 24 hours. That compares to similar runoff in just one hour during a rainstorm.

The seeping water is likely to replenish drought-baked soils in the burn area. U.S. Forest Service experts say that should provide a boost for vegetation and help stabilize loose soils.