Officials say Californians are at a greater risk of flooding and mudslides this winter because so many wildfires have scorched large areas of land.
Federal, state and local officials even issued a warning earlier this week at a press conference near the Thomas Fire burn scar in Southern California. The department of water resources says more than seven million residents are at risk of flooding.
Experts say floods following fires are a greater risk to homes because the ground cannot absorb the water which picks up ash, topsoil and debris as it flows downhill.
This morning on FOX40, Chris Orrock from the California Department of Resources will explain how residents near burn scars can be prepared.
Early preparation and evacuation is key. It is crucial for people and communities living downslope of a burn area to follow three basic steps:
Be aware of your risk: Know whether your home is downslope of a burn area; pay attention to weather forecasts; and listen to local authorities.
Be prepared: Always have an emergency evacuation kit ready; be prepared to evacuate early; have a household inventory with copies of critical documents; and have a plan for where you will go in an emergency and what to do with your pets.
Take action: Evacuate immediately when advised to. Also, homeowners’ insurance does not cover damage due to flooding; please consider purchasing flood insurance.