7 February 2010

Mudslides occur in the areas affected by the 2009 Station Fire in Los Angeles

Posted by Dave Petley

The Station Fire was a huge forest fire that occurred on the northern edge of Los Angeles in late 2009:It was finally brought under control on 16th October 2009, by which time it had burnt a huge area, thought to be over 160,000 acres (image from NASA):

In the aftermath of the fire considerable concern has been expressed about the potential for damaging mudflows in the burnt area, magnified by the current El Nino conditions, which typically bring very heavy rainfall to California at this time of the year.

Early on Saturday, unexpected heavy rainfall triggered a series of mudflows from the burnt area that affected the northern part of Oceanview Boulevard in La Canada Flintridge, causing extensive damage to properties but fortunately no fatalities. The most seriously affected area appears to be Manistree Drive, which is shown on this Google Earth image:

This is apparently the location of this image, from the LA Times:

At least 43 houses were damaged, together with 25 cars (see image below from AP). A dozen houses have reportedly suffered major structural damage.