Arizona fire burn map reveals erosion, flooding risks

Residents of the Sunnyside neighborhood fill sandbags to prepare for possible flash flooding in the Museum Fire’s nearly 2,000-acre burn area in late July. (Photo by Laurel Morales/KJZZ)

Residents of the Sunnyside neighborhood fill sandbags to prepare for possible flash flooding in the Museum Fire’s nearly 2,000-acre burn area in late July. (Photo by Laurel Morales/KJZZ)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Burn maps from a northern Arizona fire have revealed a risk for post-fire erosion and flooding in populated communities.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports that the U.S. Forest Service published a burn severity map July 31 revealing fire damage in a water-absorbing area just north of Flagstaff.

Forest officials say soil from more than half of the 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) burned on the Spruce Watershed have turned into a non-absorbing glass-like substance leaving hundreds of acres at risk for natural hazards.

Officials say that any rainwater not absorbed would run down the mountainside toward several communities about 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of Phoenix.

City and county officials say the burn map could help evaluations on the quantity and speed of flood waters to better prepare affected communities.

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