Post-Wildfire Debris Flows in the News

New York Times, January 9, 2018: Mudslides strike southern California, leaving at least 13 dead

NBC News, January 9, 2018: Deadly rains in southern California send rivers of mud into homes, trigger fire, flooding

Debris flows block Highway 101 on January 9, 2018 (Photo credit: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department/AP)

Firefighters shovel mud in Sun Valley, Los Angeles on January 9, 2018 (Photo credit: Andrew Gombert/EPA)


Los Angeles Times, February 17, 2017: Debris flow in the Sand Fire burn area in Santa Clarita (video)

ABC 7 News, January 21, 2017: Debris flows shut down roads in Duarte (video)


Daily Mail News, October 16, 2015: Hundreds of cars and truck consumed by California mudslide (video)

CBS News, October 16, 2015: Flash floods, mudslides swamp parts of Southern California (video)

CBS News, October 15, 2015: Southern California storm causes flash flooding, mudslides, blocks I-5

CNN News, July 10, 2015: Dozens of cars set ablaze as wildfire jumps California freeway



Mud flows overrun the Lake Hughes area north of Los Angeles on October 15, 2015 shutting down a 30-mile stretch of the I-5 (Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)


Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2014: Southern California rain: Freeway reopened after mudslide traps drivers

ABC Action News, December 12, 2014: Mudflows spur evacuations in Southern California

Los Angeles Times, 2014: Historical debris flows in the news


Recent Case Histories

The Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, one of several wildfires that ignited in southern California on December 4, 2017, became the largest wildfire in modern California history. Currently at 92% containment, the Thomas Fire has burned 281,893 acres (114,078 hectares) as of January 9, 2018. Link to source.

Washington Post, January 4, 2018: The grim scope of 2017’s California wildfire season is now clear. The danger’s not over.

Los Angeles Times, December 22, 2018: Thomas fire becomes largest wildfire on record in California

A Bombardier 415 Superscooper making a water drop while fighting the Thomas Fire on Dec. 17, 2017 near Montecito, California (Photo credit: Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County/EPA)

U.S. Forest fire crews set off backfires to cut off the northern flank of the Thomas fire near Rose Valley recreation area on December 9, 2017 in the Los Padres National Forest (Photo credit: Gene Blevins / Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Powerhouse Fire of 2013 burned more than 30,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest in northern Los Angeles County near Lake Hughes, Elizabeth Lake, and Green Valley communities between May 30 and June 10, 2013.

A firefighter watches from a rooftop as the Powerhouse fire closes in around the Canyon Creek Complex sports camp, on June 1, 2013 (Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

The Powerhouse fire makes a run toward Lake Hughes, on June 1, 2013 (Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

The landscape glows immediately after the main fire front swept over, on June 1, 2013 south of Lake Hughes, California (Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

The Waldo Canyon Fire of 2012 ranks as one of the most destructive wildfires in Colorado history. The fire burned for 17 days on the Pike National Forest in El Paso and Teller counties.


The Waldo Canyon Fire of 2012, as seen from Colorado Springs (Photo credit: National Fire Protection Association)


False-color satellite imagery depicts the 18,000-acre burn scar left by the Waldo Canyon Fire of 2012 (Photo credit: National Aeronautical and Space Administration)

Beyond the immediate damage from the fire itself, post-wildfire debris flows from the burned area have been responsible for interruptions to transportation infrastructure, and loss of life. Approximately one year after the fire was extinguished, debris swept through Manitou Springs, Colorado.


31st Street in Manitou Springs on August 9, 2013 (Photo credit: Denver Post)


Mud flows overwhelmed Manitou Springs on August 9, 2013 (Photo credit: Cheyene Grow)

More information regarding post-wildfire debris flows resulting from the Waldo Canyon Fire may be found at the links below.

Postwildfire debris flow report from the United States Geological Society (USGS): Probability and Volume of Potential Postwildfire Debris Flows in the 2012 Waldo Canyon Burn Area near Colorado Springs, Colorado

News from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service: Waldo Canyon – Action Sprouting from the Ashes