Butte County Recovers-The official website for Butte County disaster response and recovery

What are weather-related hazards after a wildfire?

Normally, vegetation absorbs rainfall, reducing runoff. However, wildfires leave the ground charred, barren, and unable to absorb water, creating conditions ripe for flash flooding and mudflow. Rain after a wildfire creates other hazards because soil is unstable after a fire.  Mudflows are rivers of liquid and flowing mud on the surface of normally dry land, often caused by a combination of brush loss and subsequent heavy rains. Mudflows can develop when water saturates the ground, such as from rapid snowmelt or heavy or long periods of rainfall, causing a thick, liquid, downhill flow of earth.  Sloped areas along creeks and rivers are more likely to have mudslides and debris flows, Properties in the burn area, downstream from the burn area, and downhill from the burn area at the most risk.

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