SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services wants Northern California residents to be on alert this weekend for potential debris and/or mud flow in their communities. 

Residents who live near where wildfires have burned should be particularly wary.

“The burning of vegetation and soil on slopes​ more than doubles the rate that water will run off into watercourses,” the California Department of Conversation said.

Residents who live on or downhill from burn scars are at risk of floods, mud flows and debris flows. Mud flows mainly consist of water and soil, but they can turn into debris flows. 

Debris flows are much more dangerous as they carry trees, large boulders and even vehicles. They can take a home off their foundation, unlike a mud flow, Cal OES said. And even ones that aren’t that big can be dangerous. 

“Even smaller ones can be locally dangerous: Imagine trying to walk through a 3-inch-deep mass of wet concrete moving at 30 mph,” Cal OES said.

Both can still happen five years after a wildfire burned in the area. 

Last year, in late October, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation warnings for people who lived near the River Fire burn scar due to heavy rain.

At the beginning of 2021, the Solano County Sheriff’s issued an evacuation warning for the area near the LNU Lightning Complex burn scar, which had burned the year prior.

Cal OES advises people to check on local emergency messaging and act on evacuation notifications. The agency also advises residents be prepared with an evacuation plan.