COUNTY FIRE: Burn Area Residents Should Prepare For Potential Flooding

San Bernardino County Fire is urging county residents and especially those in recent burn areas to prepare for potential flooding should the upcoming storm system deliver significant rainfall amounts. (File Photo)

By Michael P. Neufeld

Mountain Communities – Residents living in recent burn scar areas are advised by San Bernardino County Fire to prepare for potential flooding should the upcoming storm system deliver significant rainfall amounts.

flash-floodingThe charred ground — normally covered with vegetation to absorb the rainfall — cannot easy absorb rainwater, increasing the risk of flooding and mudflows for several years.

A media advisory issued by County Fire suggests that properties directly affected by fires and/or located downstream of burn areas are most at risk.


Post-fire landslide hazards include fast-moving, highly destructive debris flows. Post-fire debris flows are particularly hazardous because they can occur with little warning, can exert great impulsive loads on objects in their paths, can strip vegetation, block drainage ways, damage structures, and endanger human life.


ready-set-go-wThe best preparation for possible flooding is to plan ahead. San Bernardino County Fire’s READY! SET! GO! flood preparation web page displays a variety of things residents can do to protect their home, property and family.

Site visitors will learn how to prepare for wet weather, where they can sign up for emergency alerts, locations that have sand and sandbags available, and what they should have in an emergency kit.


sandbag-placementSandbags can best be used to help protect doorways if a waterproof layer like heavy plastic or waterproof canvas is placed behind them. If possible, tape it to the door frame.

Stack the sandbags in a pyramid formation and wrap the plastic up and over the top.

Keep in mind, sandbags DO NOT guarantee a water-tight seal, but properly placed sandbags can help redirect water, mud and debris away from homes and businesses.


natl-flood-insCounty officials are strongly encouraging residents to get flood insurance.

Flood insurance is available on almost any enclosed building and farm. The contents of insurable buildings, including rental units, are also insurable. Flood insurance can be purchased through NATIONAL FOOD INSURANCE online.

It must be purchased at least 30 days before a flooding event, so don’t wait until the first rain! Prepare your home now!


Here are some additional helpful resources:

• Download the Ready SB County app from the Google Play or Apple Store for flood safety information.

• Check the NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE online to view current and upcoming weather events.