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Flood Concerns in Burned Forests

Douglas Complex FiresMEDFORD, Ore. — Fire season is still several months away, but the land burned last summer still poses a threat.

The Bureau of Land Management is keeping a close eye on areas in the Douglas Complex vulnerable to landslides when it rains. Officials say if a half inch or more of rain is expected in 48 hours, the BLM sends storm patrols to inspect specific areas most at risk for landslides.

Officials say it’s not just the loose soil, but debris already on the ground that poses a threat.

“When it rains, that makes the soil more susceptible to movement. The things that are still left on the ground like limbs and tree trunks and fallen trees, and things can move around a lot easier because there’s no vegetation to hold it in place,” said Jim Whittington with the Bureau of Land Management.

Officials say they expect some vegetation will come back this spring and summer, but they say this will be a concern for at least the next year.

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