ALPINE, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The Quail Fire is has burned nearly 2,000 acres of vegetation, which creates the potential threat of mudslides in the event of a heavy rainfall.
Thursday’s rain did not produce enough moisture for any danger.
Brian McInerney, a Hydrologist with the National Weather Service, said it would take days of torrential rain to possibly trigger a mudslide in the future
Flames from the Quail Fire are potentially burning off roots of vegetation and changing the surface of the soil. A strong thunderstorm can trigger a mudslide in an area where the soil no longer has vegetation in it.
Tessie Garrett said she is concerned about the threat of mud sliding into homes in the near future.
“I think it’s just sad and I worry for these homes that are close to the mountains,” Garrett said. “I know it will happen. It’s just a time of when.”
Larry Lucas with the National Forest Service said a Burn Area Emergency Response team will survey the charred soil Friday.
The group plans to detect potential areas prone to mudslides, in addition to figuring out how many plants are destroyed and determining how hot the fire is.
“They do an assessment of the vegetation, the soil and they map where we could likely have mudslides or soil movement,” Lucas said.
Although the homes in the Alpine area are not in immediate danger of mudslides, officials said it will be a long term problem. They expect the potential threat to last two to three years or until vegetation grows back strong in the areas that are burned.