LAS VEGAS -- The Carpenter 1 fire burned so fiercely it crested the top of Trout Canyon and moved downhill within feet of homes in the Rainbow subdivision.
Firefighters stopped the wildfire, but flash flooding from a series of monsoon rains proved to be more destructive. The destruction is still being felt a year later.
The fire raged, clearing the way for floods.
“Last year was a perfect storm with the forest fire and monsoon,” Sue Mowbray, whose cabin was damaged by the floods, said.
Mowbray spent $15,000 fixing her flood-damaged cabin. She considers herself one of the lucky ones.
“It came from both sides which hit homes on that side and then it hit here which hit homes on that side of the street then it merged and took out the street,” Mowbray said.
Her neighbor spent close to $200,000 cleaning up the flood damage. High Desert Landscaping is currently working on a way to defend the home, if the water rushes down again.
“We're building dry wall to protect this basement and building a gabion basket system (wire baskets filled with rocks) as a container on this hill side,” High Desert Landscaping supervisor Joe Cuglietta said.
The runoff sent mud, logs, and anything else in its path over streets and into some homes. The debris can still be seen throughout properties a year later.
Cuglietta says they pulled tons of material out of this house and in it they found some curious items including a bird feeder, fish-and-tackle box and three bears carved out of wood. They checked with neighbors and have no idea where it all came from.
The U.S. Forest Service has taken measures to decrease the risk of flooding. They dropped mulch where they could, but Mowbray says it is not enough.
“We did get flood insurance through FEMA, and we just plan on not coming back up here when it's supposed to rain,” Mowbray said.
Monsoon season is upon the mountain again.
“It could happen again anytime, and could be as bad if not worse,” Mowbray said.
A Clark County spokesperson says roadwork on the Rainbow subdivision should be finished by the end of this month.
The U.S. Forest Service says many hiking trails still need to be inspected for safety before they can be re-opened.