Burn scars cause mudslide concerns

Posted at 8:23 PM, Jul 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-17 22:23:52-04

SALT LAKE CITY – The National Weather Service is monitoring burn scars statewide as heavy rains make mudslides a possibility.

The state obtained a federal grant last year for four weather stations, which are located at the largest burn scars in the state. One station is above Alpine, which saw mud flows Tuesday night caused by the run off from the Quail Fire burn scar.

Weather experts are also keeping an eye on Oak City near Delta, Saratoga Springs and Fountain Green. The weather centers measure precipitation in the areas, and hydrologists say their main concern is making sure people don’t get trapped in basements during debris flows caused by runoff.

“When you have a debris flow it's like a cement truck kicking loose and flowing downhill, and it just follows the path of a natural stream,” said NWS Hydrologist Brian Macinerney. “Unfortunately we've built homes higher up in the drainage. These debris flows go down, they break the windows. When they go into the room they'll slam the door shut and fill the room in a fast amount of time."

FOX 13 News’ Gene Kennedy was in Saratoga Springs Wednesday to talk to residents about the burn scar and the storms. Check out the video above to see what they had to say.