How high-intensity wildfires impact water quality years after the smoke clears

Early in the morning of Aug. 17, 2021, El Dorado Irrigation District Director of Operations Dan Corcoran knew that his region's watersheds were in trouble. The Caldor Fire was sweeping through Grizzly Flat and heading right for Jenkinson Lake, the area's main water source. At the time, Corcoran's focus was evacuating the area and checking on staff that lived in the area. Once the smoke cleared, the challenge of maintaining safe water quality for the region was just beginning.