Flood After Fire Preparedness Tips


Are you prepared?' graphic

The National Weather Service is forecasting rain in both Northern and Southern California starting Wednesday, including over the burn areas of the Camp and Woolsey Fires. Moderate rain is expected on Wednesday, increasing into Thursday and Friday.

Communities downslope of burn areas are at an increased risk of flash flooding, mudflows, and debris flows.

With 7,421 fires and more than 1.6 million acres burned, 2018 has been California’s most destructive fire year on record. Wildfires change the landscape, destroying root structure and creating top soil that could repel water instead of absorbing it.

Debris flows and mudflows can occur up to five years after a wildfire.

Debris flows can take homes off their foundations and can carry things like vegetation, trees, large boulders and vehicles. Mudflows on the other hand are made of water and soil, and although they are more unlikely to move heavy objects like debris flows, both are fast moving and dangerous. Both happen fast, so heed evacuation warnings.

Flood After Fire Preparedness Tips:

  • BE AWARE of your risk – Know whether your home is downslope of a burn area or in an area susceptible to flooding by visiting the FEMA Flood Map website. Pay attention to weather forecasts. Listen to local authorities.
  • BE PREPARED – Always have an emergency evacuation kit ready. Have a plan for where you will go in an emergency and what to do with your pets. Learn more.
  • TAKE ACTION – Follow evacuation orders immediately. If you live in a flood-prone area, check your home insurance to see if it covers floods.


For more information on flood after fire, visitDWR’s flood preparedness week webpage, and view our video.

For current conditions, visit the National Weather Service’s website.