Fire Crews Worry About Increased Flood Risk - 8 News NOW

Fire Crews Worry About Increased Flood Risk

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MOUNT CHARLESTON, Nev. - Rain heads to the valley Thursday morning. While that could help fire crews fight the Carpenter 1 fire on Mt. Charleston, it could also spell disaster. The threat of flash floods becomes more prevalent with charred ground.

Forest and agriculture experts say with a fire this large, and the debris that comes from it, the mess will eventually make its way down the mountain after a few days of rain.

They are concerned heavy rain will slow the evaporation process since much of the healthy soil and trees are gone.

Experts say if that happens, there is a likely chance flood channels and drainage ditches could clog, and floodwater and debris could flow into roads.

Crews are working to add new soil and/or mulch to areas that were heavily burned, so those areas are prepared to absorb rainwater. Even with the extra soil and mulch, experts say charred debris could still flow into the valley.

"There is the chance, there is the risk that the debris, ash, burned wood, burned vegetation (is) actually coming off that mountain and actually focusing down into that channel, and coming down there and having a debris flow downstream," said forest bare coordinator Jim Hurja. "It's a chance. You just never know what the rain is going to do."

Crews are also working to create barriers to protect homes in the mountain from potential landslides. The barriers will remain in place at least until the foundation has regained enough stability to support the homes.

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