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The recent Waldo Canyon Fire on the Pike National Forest has changed the watersheds within the burned area and increased the potential for flooding and mudflows that could impact several communities adjacent to and downstream from the Forest.
. Although mudflows can be a frequent occurrence after a wildfire, the effects of the Waldo Canyon Fire on the watersheds need to be determined.
. The Forest Supervisor for the Pike & San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands, assembled a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team to assess the condition of the watersheds that were burned in the Waldo Canyon Fire.
. One of the most effective BAER treatment is interagency coordination with local cooperators who assist affected landowners prepare for rain events.
. Multiple Agencies are working together with the BAER team looking at the full scope and scale of the situation to reduce the potential threats to life and property; however, residents need to take steps to protect themselves and their property from a flood event:
:: Monitor local weather reports and public safety bulletins, along with local road closures, emergency notifications, and media alerts.
:: Follow local county advisories and act accordingly — for your safety.
:: Prepare for the monsoon rainstorms by being prepared to evacuate if county officials determine that flash floods and mudflows are expected which could pose an increased threat to life and property.
:: Know and be alert to environmental signs of dangerous weather conditions and be prepared to take action that can save lives.
:: Understand that all canyons along the Front Range and those associated within the burned area can produce flash floods.
:: And, if you find yourself in a flash flood, climb to safety (seek higher ground).
The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department’s Floodplain Management Office has prepared a brochure that can assist the public with flood readiness and contains key contact information. It is available at: http://www.pprbd.org/flood_files/flood.pdf.
Reminder: There will be a community meeting to address concerns about flooding, tomorrow at 7PM at Centennial Hall. More information about that meeting is here.