ALPINE, Utah (ABC 4 News) - While Utah was hit hard by rain yesterday, the state may have still benefitted. The fire danger has been lessened at least temporarily. While that is good news, the danger of mudslides is still very much a reality.
Larry Dunn a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said, “The Quail Fire got between a quarter and a half inch of rain yesterday and didn't we see any activity so that's good news."
But it doesn't mean we're in the clear. Dunn points to the fire and subsequent mudslide in Draper a couple of years ago. "If you look back at the burn scar over Draper it was able to take rain a number of times before it finally went,” said Dunn.
So what will it take for the mountains above Alpine City to go? They’re not exactly sure. What they do know is the damage from the quail fire is not as bad as originally thought.
Loyal Clark with the U.S. Forest Service said, "Most of the fire area has low soil burn severity. What that tells us is the fire burned so quickly and rapidly it didn't stay in the area long enough to create those high severity areas we've seen when we have a fire with this much heat in it."
Another positive - there's no need for re-vegetation. The fire burned through so quickly the roots of the plants are still there and the seed sources are still viable. Re-growth is expected this fall or early next spring. Until then, the city has installed rock dams, concrete barriers and a 50 foot wide fire break to hopefully hold off the mud when it comes.
Clark said, "Everything that can be done has been done and Alpine City is prepared for that."