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Burn areas pose risk for floods

Modified: Monday, Jul 15th, 2013

BIG PINEY – Recent rainstorms have caused concern for flash floods and mudslides at the Fontenelle burn site.

According to the National Weather Service, after a wildfire occurs, soil can be as water repellant as pavement. This allows for floods and mudslides during heavy rainstorms. A flood can become a debris flow in a burn area because the water picks up ash, rocks, sand and burned vegetation. The roadways and culverts in the pathway of debris flow can be damaged.

In a release from the National Weather Service, it was said the first two years after a fire are the most susceptible to flash floods. It also takes significantly less rainfall to create flash floods in burns scars.

“Half an inch of rainfall in less than an hour can cause a flash flood,” National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Jones said about burn sites in a press release.

For the complete article see the 07-16-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 07-16-2013 paper.

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