SANTA CRUZ COUNTY (KRON) — The Loma Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains is 100 percent contained, but there are some new worries ahead of a forecast calling for rain this weekend.
There is now the potential for erosion and mudslides, KRON4 has learned.
The Loma Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains is 100 percent contained, but there are some new worries ahead of a forecast calling for rain this weekend.
Thin, sandy soil, to begin with, is now a mixture of ash, dust and burned vegetation. Add a little water, in the form of rain, even a little rain, over time, and there is nothing to hold that soil in place.
The landscape for long stretches on either side of Loma Chiquita, and other mountain roads in the fire zone, are burned clean. Even a moderate amount of rain could cause problems, says Cal Fire forester Ed Orre.
Cal Fire is already at work on what it calls suppression repair, focusing on dozer lines carved into the steep terrain and on disturbed areas, which can channel run off and trigger a mudslide, threatening lives and homes below, increasing the potential for one disaster on top of another.
Home and property owners are urged to take action to clear culverts of fire debris and downed trees. The roads too, which have taken a beating, are especially vulnerable.
Rain will inevitably have an impact on water quality in the form of sedimentation that will end up in creeks and streams and ultimately in Chesbro and other reservoirs.