Residents near El Dorado, Apple fire burn areas warned to evacuate as storm approaches – Press Enterprise

The threat of heavy rain and snow – and possible mud and debris flows – has prompted Riverside and San Bernardino counties to warn residents living in or downhill from the burn scars of the El Dorado and the Apple fires that they might have to evacuate.

Riverside County issued an evacuation warning, which means residents need to be prepared to evacuate if ordered. They should gather important documents and other items, and prepare pets and livestock.

The third of three storms in a week is expected to unleash rain and snow starting Thursday night, Jan. 28, and last into Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

The two fires last fall killed the vegetation’s root systems that hold hillsides together. Also, the heat sears the soil and dumps ash on the ground, limiting how much water can be absorbed. That combination creates conditions in which slides can occur.

“Runoff is expected to be greater due to heavier rainfall on soils saturated by recent precipitation,” the weather service said. “With higher snow levels, snowmelt will add to the runoff, especially in the San Bernardino County mountains.”

San Bernardino County warned residents of Oak Glen, Yucaipa, Forest Falls, Mountain Home Village and Angelus Oaks of the possible danger. County residents were urged to sign up for telephone alerts on the county website or by calling 211.

“Significant water flows can develop with one-quarter inch to one-half inch of rain in short periods,” the county said.

Anyone needing assistance with evacuating animals can call Riverside County Animal Services at 951-358-7387.

More information on preparing for evacuations is available on the RivCoReady website.

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