LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. – People living in southwest Colorado who have had to worry about whether or not they will lose their homes to the 416 Fire will now have another worry on their hands: flooding.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch Thursday morning for much of southwest and southern Colorado, including the areas burned by the 416 Fire and the Burro Fire.
The watch goes into effect Saturday morning and will last through Sunday evening, as leftover tropical moisture from Tropical Storm Bud makes its way into Colorado. The watch is in effect for the Animas River basin, the southwest San Juan Mountains and the Highway 550 corridor to include Durango and Hermosa.
“This includes the burn areas from the 416 Fire and the Burro Fire,” the NWS bulletin says.
The National Weather Service says that rock and mud slides, as well as severe flash flooding, are possible over the weekend—especially in areas with new or recent burn scars.
“Heavy rainfall over the burn scar area from the 416 Wildfire is of particular concern,” the bulletin says. “Residents near this wildfire and along the Highway 550 corridor near Hermosa should prepare for potential flooding impacts.”
The fire crew has also brought in a specialized meteorologist to monitor the incoming storms for lightning strikes that create spot fires—another concern the storms could bring, according to The Denver Post.
The watches are a first warning for area residents. Flash flood warnings could also be issued this weekend if the precipitation is heavy enough. There are also red flag warnings for high wind and high fire danger in place Thursday ahead of the expected surge in moisture.
Among the cities covered by the watch are Silverton, Rico, Hesperus, Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio.
For the latest weather forecast in the area, click here. Stay with Denver7 for the latest updates on the wildfires burning across the state and for any potential news about possible flooding.