Creeks in some settings act as barriers to wildfires, with flowing water, moist soils, and shady groves of trees.  However, riparian (creekside) vegetation can also provide an avenue for rapid spread of fires owing to dense vegetation, infestations of invasive flammable shrubs and trees, and accumulations of dead wood resulting from years of drought and disease.Map of recent wildfires in the Sonoma Valley area.In the Sonoma Valley and surrounding areas, large wildfires swept over mountains and through forests, vineyards, and neighborhoods in 2017 and 2020.  The fires swept across and along riparian corridors.  Even streams as large as the Napa River and Sonoma Creek were ineffective in slowing the wind-driven fires.  In cultivated and residential areas, the thick vegetation along streams provides routes for fires to spread. Riparian corridors following wildfires have reduced canopy cover, less shade, higher water temperatures, and large concentrations of dead and down and dead...

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