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What Monterey County’s burn scars mean for winter


This year, Monterey County suffered from devastating fires, but it's the aftermath of those fires that has experts concerned.

Mudslides, debris flows, and rock slides could happen as a result of the fires as we head into our rainy season. “They have identified our risk is low to moderate. Compared to Santa Cruz which is a bit higher,” says Kelsey Scalon with the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services.

While most of Monterey County has a low to moderate risk of flows and slides, there is ALWAYS a risk when you have a burn scar and a significant amount of rain. “i’m most concerned about cachagua,” says Scanlon.

Emergency services have identified which spots in the county are most at risk, and are working to mitigate potential damage. “We are encouraging those communities to be prepared to either shelter in place or evacuate for more than 72 hours,” says Scalon. Mudslides have the ability to shut down roads for several days and can trap communities in their homes. Similar to the deadly mudslides that happened in the montecito area back in 2018. 

This year we have a La Niña winter, which typically means a drier season.

Nonetheless, Scanlon says it’s important to be prepare your property if you live near a burn scar. “Even if you live within a mile of the burn scar… you are still at risk. Things like sandbags and making sure you are signed up for the emergency alert system, can go a long way.

Stay tuned! Next week we will have a special report for Santa Cruz County.

California News / California Weather / Monterey County / Special Reports / Top Stories / Weather
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Zach McIntyre

Zach McIntyre is the morning meteorologist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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