CURRY AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES, Ore. -- The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood watch for Thursday for the Chetco Burn area. The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) said the burn scar areas are more prone to landslides and flash floods if the rain totals are significant.
“Rain can, two things, you lose the strength in the soil which means the soil is more likely to move and then you lose the vegetation which means that the rain can has effect on the ground faster,” said DOGAMI Communications Director Ali Ryan Hansen.
Curry County and much of Josephine County are a part of the flash flood watch. Hansen said it is important for families living and traveling in the area to stay alert and watch for moving debris.
Fire crews have closed popular trails in the area for safety concern. One is the Japanese Aerial Bombing site. The Forest Service and others are working to make sure the area is safe before reopening it. Fire managers said crews will stay in the area repairing the areas that have been damaged in the fire fight.
"Pay attention. Use all your senses. Listen and watch. If you hear unusual sounds that may indicate debris is moving, if you see a trickle of falling mud or debris it may indicate a landslide is happening. And if you think a landslide is happening leave immediately,” Hansen said.
Hansen said if officials do say you need to evacuate, do not take that risk and stay. It is best to leave.