Dec 15, 2017

California Wildfires Continue to Burn

Despite the fires that still burn, officials are already considering flood and erosion control

wildfires threaten erosion control and groundwater quality

Santa Ana winds have picked up in Southern California, aggravating the wildfires burning there. It has been more than 250 days since the region last saw rain and weather models predict no rainfall until Dec. 30. According to fire tracking by the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, the Thomas fire is only 35% contained.

Despite the fires that still burn, officials are already considering flood and erosion control strategies for the coming rains. Los Angeles County officials are wasting no time in preparing the burn areas for mudslides, extreme floods and erosion. Strategies include repairing burned slope drains, hydroseeding, installing mulch and straw blankets, and culverts. Additionally, sandbags and K-rails are being installed to control the path of potential debris.

The fires create ideal conditions for mudslides as the burned land is filled with debris. Officials worry about preparing the land surrounding the Thomas Fire—whenever it stops burning—as the area affected is so large.

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