Junkins burn scar at risk for flash floods

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo - The Beulah community has been through a lot in the last year. First, the Beulah Hill fire burned 6 acres in October.
A few weeks later, the Junkins fire burned more than 18,000 acres. Both fires caused evacuations.
This spring, the pressure and fear aren't subsiding.
"Now we're worried about fires on one side and flooding on the other so it's a constant stress level," said Beulah Fire Chief Bryan Ware.
Ware says emergency managers are doing what they can to prepare the community for the risks ahead.
"We've been spending approximately 40 to 50 hours a week working on post-fire preparedness for the floods with direct communication with each resident that resides up in those areas," Ware said.
"About 110 homes up in that area. There are six or seven of them that have been identified that could totally be flooded and so those are the really big areas that we're looking at," said Pueblo County Emergency Services Bureau Chief Mark Mears.

Mears said it's not necessarily the water that they're concerned about, but areas full of debris that could wash down the hillside.
"There's a lot of trees that were just hollow and they're just standing. Once it starts raining, are they going to fall? Is that going to be debris that comes down through that creek area?" Mears said.

Since it's not a question of if but when a flood event will happen here, Ware said community members have to have an exit strategy.

"Be observant. Listen to our warnings and when they're issued, get to your safe zone," Ware said.

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