Infographic: How Wildfires Increase the Threat of Flooding - NBC Southern California

Infographic: How Wildfires Increase the Threat of Flooding

With rain on the way, the flood and debris flow threat is heightened in Southern California's burn areas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    When it rains after wildfires, the risk of flooding is heightened. Here's how.
    Photo credit: National Flood Insurance Program

    Months of dry weather might come to an end in Southern California early next week. 

    Widespread rain is expected Monday into Wednesday, with possible downpours and debris flows in recent wildfire burn areas. When a brush fire strips a hillside of vegetation, a water repellent layer of soil forms that prevents absorption when rain falls.

    Recent rain so far along the California coast has generally come no farther south than Point Conception on the Santa Barbara County coast. But forecasters say Southern California should get its first major rainfall of the season next week, starting on the Central Coast Monday morning and then moving into Ventura and Los Angeles counties in the afternoon.

    Peak rainfall rates will range from a half-inch to 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) per hour. The weather service says that's likely to create debris flows in burn areas such as the huge Thomas Fire. The fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties was 92 percent contained this week after burning nearly 282,000 acres and destroying at an estimated 1,063 structures.

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