Burn Scars Left Over From Beaver Creek Fire


By Jack Holland

Hailey, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) The Beaver Creek Fire destroyed over 116 thousand acres last year and left plenty of burn scars that could be problematic.

Burn scars are still visible a year after the wildfire.

A burn scar is soil that was burned and turned into a crust-like material.

These reminders of past destruction double as a warning of the potential of future damage.

It only takes a quarter of an inch of rain in one hour on a burn scar to cause flooding.

"If you continue to get more rain, you can actually get mud flows and debris flow of where you have debris coming off the old fire," explains Dean Hazen, National Weather Service.

Days after the fire was contained, a thunderstorm came and brought enough rain that caused a mud flow.

These flows can cause damage, ripping apart homes and also destroying roadways.

In order to warn people about these dangerous debris and mud flows, the USGS set up precipitation gauges to monitor rainfall amounts.

"The precip gauges collect data, telling us the magnitude of rain that's falling on the burn area itself from individual storms,” says Dave Evetts, USGS.

With this data, the National Weather Service could warn people of potential flash flooding where the burn scars are.

One way Blaine County and the National Weather Service can warn people is through text message alerts.

And all you have to do is sign up at blainecounty.org and you get reports from the gauges and warnings sent straight to your phone.

It's estimated that it will take four to five years for the burn scars to fully heal.

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