Flash Flood Watch issued Sunday for 13 burn scar sites vulnerable to mudslides

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FOX40 Chief Meteorologist Kristina Werner and Dennis Shanahan join in team weather coverage Sunday. Adam Epstein will have your Monday morning update.  

The Latest – Monday, Oct. 25

3:45 a.m.

The Flash Flood Warning for the Caldor Fire burn scar area has been extended to 9 a.m. Monday.


Original story below:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for 13 burn scar areas vulnerable to mudslides and debris flow, starting Sunday morning.

This includes sites from fires that happened between 2018 and 2021:

  • 2018 Camp, Carr, Delta and Hirz Fires
  • 2020 August Complex, North Complex, LNU Complex and Zogg Fires
  • 2021 Caldor, Dixie, McFarland, River and Salt Fires

This Flash Flood Watch covers over 2.2 million acres of burn area in Sacramento County Warning Area alone, according to the NWS.

The NWS said the areas with the highest risk are the Dixie and Caldor burn areas, which are both expected to experience the heaviest rainfall this weekend.

It’s an event the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services is prepared for.

“This is an incredible amount of rain,” said Program Manager Paul Cummings. “This amount of rain we are going to see over a very short period tomorrow has the high probability of creating a flash flood and debris flow.”

A similar warning came from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, asking people near the Caldor Fire Burn scar to be prepared to evacuate, or be self sustainable should one need to shelter-in-place.

Derek Williams is the incident meteorologist for the Caldor Fire and said people should take the warnings seriously.

“Beginning late tonight to Monday afternoon, we could see six to eight inches on the Caldor Fire,” Williams said. “A typical atmospheric river contains the amount of water as 10 Mississippi rivers combined. That is about five or six million cubic feet per second of water streaming into the area.

Williams said burn areas are especially susceptible to debris flows.

“It burns the trees; it burns the grass and sometimes it burns the soil,” Williams said. “It burns that organic matter a couple of inches down. So, you have this bare soil which becomes hydrophobic — that means it repels water. Kind of like wax on a car; it just beads off.”

The NWS has also issued a Winter Storm Warning, beginning Sunday evening, for parts of the Sierra.

Crews have already begun to prepare against potential flooding in Placer County.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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