Words by: Kevin Keise
If losing their homes to the disastrous wildfires weren’t enough, victims of the affected in nearly all the burned areas will now prepare for massive rainfall and dangerous mudslides.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for the Campfire burn areas near Paradise, with rains expected to fall across Northern California. They can expect 3 to 6 inches of rain from Wednesday through Friday.
Because of dangerous flames and toxic air, this news brings slight relief, but because of the excessive amount of rain, those areas face new dangers. The flood watch states that there’s a chance of heavy rain which could trigger “flash floods, rockslides and/or debris flows.”
The National Weather Service warning also stated, “This could quickly become a dangerous situation. Residents, emergency responders, persons traveling within the burn area should remain alert and take action should heavy rain develop.”
South California areas affected by the Woolsey and Hill Fires, near Malibu, has been issued an advisory warning you about future mudslides. The National Weather Service stated that Wednesday on into Thursday morning, victims from those areas may be getting between .2 to .7 inches of rain — or 1.25 in the foothills of the area — which could cause mudslides.
Mudslides are common after wildfires occur. According to Maggie Johnson, an AccuWeather meteorologist, the ash makes the ground “slick” after a fire and that the there is no longer any vegetation to create friction, or to stop the mudflow, as the rain falls. As a result, mudslides.
Even a few inches can cause mudslides and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (Cal Fire) in Southern California advise residents in burned areas to take safety precautions. They’re calling this a “very realistic threat” and residents should not take evacuation orders “lightly.”
Earlier this year, 21 people died in Southern California because of mudslides after heavy rainfall hit areas near Montecito. Dangerous wildfires also hit Montecito.