LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The rain is causing concern for residents in areas surrounding the Hermits Peak Calf Canyon burn scar. What would usually be a nice, soaking rain could turn into devastating flooding.
There is a flash flood warning for the southern end of the burn scar for an hour on Tuesday afternoon. Earlier, KRQE News 13 crew was in Mora where military personnel and fire crews were busy filling thousands of sandbags to help people protect their property from yet another natural disaster.
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“The burn area does increase the risk of an additional hazard and that is debris flows. So rather than just having water flowing downhill, that water will pick up ash and downed logs and rocks and that kind of thing and additional hazards,” said fire spokesperson Niki Carpenter.
Officials say the wet conditions have helped the fire suppression effort, but they’ve had to scale back some crews in the high country, around 500 in the past 24 hours, because of the flash flooding risk. Fire crews have gone on to help the National Guard and county officials in the sandbagging effort, filling nearly 9,500 bags.
Residents say they’ve been preparing for the worst. “It’s enough so I was out there the last couple of days digging ditches and putting sandbags up to train the water to go in a certain area which is away from the area where I live,” said Mora resident Brenda Donovan.
Donovan says while the area she lives in wasn’t burned, the watershed above her was, and she’s expecting a lot of flooding by her home, but she says their community is resilient. The Hermits Peak Calf Canyon Fire remains at 72% containment and has burned more than 341,000 acres.