A thunderstorm Tuesday afternoon over recently burned areas in the Inland Empire has prompted forecasters to issue a flash flood warning, saying the downpours could lead to debris flows.
The warning for the Apple and El Dorado burn scars will remain in place until 5:30 p.m., according to the San Diego National Weather Service.
Between 0.5 and 1 inch of rain has fallen, at an expected rate of up to 1 inch per hour, forecasters said.
“Flash floods are ongoing or expected to begin shortly,” the weather service said. “Excessive rains over the burn scar result in a debris flow moving through the Apple and El Dorado burn scar. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.”
Communities that could be affected include Yucaipa, southern Mt. San Gorgonio, Forest Falls, Banning, Morongo Indian Reservation and Cherry Valley.
“If you encounter flooding, get to safety,” the weather service said. “Move away from recently burned areas. Life-threatening flooding from streams, roads and normally dry arroyos is likely.”
The warning comes about a month after the remnants of Tropical Storm Kay brought 2.4 inches of rain to Forest Falls, a mountain community north of Oak Glen, in an hour, creating an immense debris flow that damaged or destroyed 16 homes, leaving a 62-year-old woman dead.
Authorities had warned that any significant rain over the El Dorado burn scar could result in devastating debris flows.
The fire, which broke out west of Oak Glen on September 5, 2020, burned 22,744 acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Charles Morton, a 39-year-old Big Bear firefighter, died Sept. 17 while fighting the fire after “burning over,” according to a US Forest Service incident report.
Authorities later concluded that the fire was started by a pyrotechnic device from a gender reveal party at a park in Yucaipa.
Started by a malfunctioning diesel vehicle in Cherry Valley on July 31, 2020, the Apple fire burned 33,424 acres before being contained, according to the US Forest Service.
Meteorologists with the Oxnard Weather Service said a flood watch for Antelope Valley and the interior mountains of Los Angeles County (excluding the Santa Monica Mountains), including the Bobcat fire scar in 2020, will remain active until 10 p.m.
In a tweet at 4:22 p.m., forecasters said they were “observing some activity on the rain radar propagating westbound south from Orange County [Los Angeles County] that has potential for showers or thunderstorms.”
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-10-11/flash-flood-warning-issued-for-inland-empire-storm Flash flood warning issued for Inland Empire storm