Friday, November 14, 2008

Possible problems

While the fires are out, the Ventana will be living with their consequences for several years at least. Some of those consequences may be entirely welcome - many people are looking forward to an abundance of spring wildflowers. Some of the consequences are less welcome, with floods and debris flows posing possible threats to lives and property. The report of the State Enmergency Assessment Team (SEAT) states:

As a result of the fire and the burn severity there is an increased risk for storms to result in flooding, debris torrents, mudsliding and debris flows. As storm intensity increases or as duration rises, there will be an increased risk for the storm to trigger flooding, rockfall, debris torrents, mudsliding and debris flows.

So for example, we can expect an increased water yield of 390% for Tassajara Creek at Tassajara, 1141% for unnamed tributary creek at Tassajara, and unnamed tributary to Church Creek road crossing of 855%.

Lots more water than usual, probably mixed with mud, rocks and logs.

More information:
The CPOA website has links to maps from the State Geological Survey showing projected debris flows and probablities and a Google Earth file of the hazard locations from the SEAT report.
Xasáuan Today has a collection of posts on the aftermath of the fires, for example, here are some maps of the soil burn intensity.
SURCATS has a report on a recent meeting that combined a presentation of the SEAT report with a dsicussion of winter preparation. Although this focuses on the problems confronting the Big Sur residents, many of the dangers discussed are present on the east side of the fire area.

1 comment:

kathy whilden said...

I've been thinking about Tassajara after our first rains. Thank you for starting up the blog again.
Kathy Whilden