Summertime wildfires that have already burned about 2.7 million hectares in the United States may cause a double-whammy for property owners by greatly increasing the risk of flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA.

FEMA director Joe Allbaugh said, “The loss of trees, ground cover, and other vegetation has greatly increased the possibility of flash floods and mudflows.” Allbaugh said that land scorched and barren from the loss of natural forest barriers can take decades to recover and result in erosion and devastating floods.