CAL FIRE Concerned about Mudslides, Early Fire Season

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Wet weather can create mudslides in areas burned by wildfires.

But is the rain falling in the Sacramento region this weekend enough to cause concern?

One of the burn areas is near Applegate, which was charred in a 450 acre wildfire last October.

"That soil which has become so dry, rather than absorbing that water in a normal winter storm type year, because those storms are so infrequent when that water comes down its just cast off by the soil,” said CAL FIRE Captain Specialist, John Hotchkiss.

Hotchkiss says there are risks after short, intense spurts of rain, like we saw this week and back in December.

"So there's a greater potential for us to have a mudslide type situation to occur or for us to have flash flooding type situations,” said Hotchkiss.

CAL FIRE says the amount of rain we’re seeing in the drought-stricken Sacramento region is likely not enough to create a major mudslide. But the dry conditions create different concerns for fire crews.

CAL FIRE says firefighters have been busier than usual during this very dry winter and they worry what that means for the upcoming fire season.

"Our normal look at fire season saying that from late March or early April going through the end of October as a typical fire season pattern; that’s not the case this year. And it wasn’t really the case last year. We started to see fires occurring relatively early on last year as well,” said Hotchkiss.

Recognizing the high fire potential, CAL FIRE is keeping more stations open and staffed.

CAL FIRE recommends anyone in flood-prone areas to pick up sandbags.

There are several locations around our area where you can get free sandbags.