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Weather Service Warns Against Fast Run-off

July 9, 2013 Jackson Hole, State of Wyoming, Teton County No Comments
runoff

The effects of the 2012 fire season can still be felt across western and central Wyoming this summer. Fire scarred lands, like the area of last year’s Horse Thief Canyon Fire south of Jackson, are prone to excessive runoff from heavy thunderstorm precipitation and the result could be dangerous flash flooding that happens quickly with very little if any advance warning. Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Jones advises residents and those recreating near fire scars to be prepared prepare to quickly move to safety should heavy rain occur.  He says while there are people who are very happy to see the rain, especially when it comes to slowing the fire season, the down-side is the soils in these burned areas can promote a very fast run-off and sometimes the land can even move with it. Jones says it is strongly urged that people monitor local radio for warnings when stormy weather moves in as it does fairly regularly in the afternoons now. However, he adds that social media is now another good source for such warnings. He points to platforms like Teton County’s “Nixle” service as an alternative place to go to.  Jones says, “One of the hard things about this king of flash flooding is it can happen with much less rainfall than what might typically cause a flash flood or what we call a debris flow; so people need to be prepared to move even if a warning hasn’t been issued.” Jones adds that residents in and near the burn areas need to have a planned, safe evacuation or escape route and an emergency supply kit.

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