Massive storm raises concern over possible mudslides, debris flows in Creek Fire burn scar area

KSEE24 News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – A massive storm wreaked havoc across California on Sunday, bringing heavy rain, high winds, and landslides in Northern California.

That storm is making its way toward the Central Valley, causing concerns about debris flows and mudslides near wildfire burn zones.

Some of the most at-risk areas for debris flow, mudslides, and rockfalls are in the Creek Fire burn scar.

It’s an area that lost a lot of vegetation in the fire, making it prone to flooding and other issues.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is urging people to be vigilant as the storm moves into the area.

“We’ve been monitoring every single rain event that has come into the Creek Fire burn scar since we had the Creek fire and right now what we are seeing is that this will be the biggest one we’ve had,” explained Lt. Kathy Curtice.

It’s all hands on deck for the Sheriff’s Office as it braces for a massive rainstorm that moved through Northern California Sunday afternoon, turning roads into rivers in Napa County.

“There is potential here could be debris flow, creeks overrising some of the roads, mudslides, mud moving across the roadways and also some potential for rocks to dislodge,” said Lt. Curtice.

Lt. Curtice says the Creek Fire burn scar is of the most concern, she anticipates water rising higher and flowing faster due to the loss of vegetation.

County residents can check their risk levels and evacuation zones on a new interactive map.

“If they are near streams, if they are situated downhill of some rocks or trees that could be dislodged, now would be a good time to pack up themselves and their animals and go someplace they will feel safer,” explained Lt. Curtice.

Lt. Curtice says the Sheriff’s Office is boosting staffing for the duration of the storm, including stationing deputies trained with water rescues in the most vulnerable areas.

She says residents can also do their part.

“Really at this point, they need to be really aware. Aware of where they are, aware of where their property is and particularly where their property is in relation to the burn scar,” Lt. Curtice said.

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