Clackamas County officials Wednesday said residents in areas that were affected by wildfires should watch for potential landslides and flooding in the next few days.
The county said the National Weather Service is predicting heavy rains in areas where fires have burned “protective cover” off of hillsides.
“When heavy rains hit those hillsides, they could fail, causing mud and debris to enter creeks and rivers,” Jay Wilson, Clackamas County Resilience Coordinator, said in a statement. “That could increase chances of landslides or flooding downstream or at the bottom of barren hillsides.”
“Sodden hillsides” can flow at avalanche speeds, the county said. They can also travel miles from their source and pick up large objects like boulders, cars and trees.
Some areas of Clackamas County were badly burned by the Riverside Fire a few months ago. That fire burned more than 130,000 acres.
Wilson with Clackamas County also said the weather is a reminder for residents to consider purchasing flood insurance.
“There’s a 30-day waiting period for protection to take effect,” Wilson said in a statement. “Please consider flood insurance immediately.”