NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – With the much needed rain coming to our state, devastating flooding could hit the areas affected by recent wildfires. State officials spoke on Friday about how they are preparing.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham was joined by members of the National Weather Service, National Guard, and Forest Service who are all warning residents near burn scars to be on high alert. Rain acts differently in a fire zone than in other areas.

“The reason these burn scar areas are so dangerous is because of the burn grounds from the wildfires. It acts like concrete. It’s like these water channels in Albuquerque. Water hits it and runs off. And with that, that’s why we need to be prepared. That’s why we have to have plans in place. We have to have emergency kits. We have to have things in place that keep people safe,” said Scott Overpeck, Albuquerque National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service says they will be issuing flash flood warnings as promptly as possible and doing everything they can to alert residents of impending floods. Burn scar mitigation will begin next week. This includes grass seeding, mulching, and removal of hazardous waste.

Private landowners will be able to get assistance to help remove burned trees that are hazardous. The trees will then be used to create structures which will slow the flow of water.

Many communities are preparing sandbags for residents to use. Mora county is one area receiving collapsible flood barriers which are filled with dirt and rocks.

Phone and internet is still down in some communities. Crews are working to restore those services. The state is encouraging people to sign up for emergency alerts on their phone so they know when an event is near and where they can go if evacuations are ordered.