Monsoon Season Could Impact Slide Fire Repairs

By Rachel Lund
Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 - 4:53pm

Monsoon season officially begins this weekend and the Burned Area Emergency Response team for Coconino National Forest is assessing how monsoon season could affect the Slide Fire area and its local residents.

Heather Noel, Forest Service Public Information Officer, says the goal is to prevent potential emergencies.          

“We spend an intense amount of time out in the field in a very short amount of days going out and looking at the canopy, testing the soil for soil severity and it’s response to pre- and post-fire,” said Noel. “We see how it would be affected if the monsoon rains came.”

The team is comprised of local and national fire experts, scientists and specialists.

“We take a really good inventory of each area and try to come up with what would happen in that area in case of a rain event,” Noel said.

As the B.A.E.R team is also trying to prevent potential emergencies regardless of rainfall.

“The risk designated in certain areas that were burned that were previously holding together rocks, and now they’re not, and so one of our concerns is the potential for dry rock fall,” she said.

The team is working with state and local officials to implement some of the recommendations aimed at preventing mudslides and erosion.     

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