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After wildfires, winter flooding a threat to millions of acres

Greta Mart/KCBX
Areas adjacent to Highway 154 burned in the 2017 Whittier Fire are at risk for flooding.

It's Flood Preparedness Week in California, and state officials say they're concerned about water-related dangers at the sites of recent fires, including the thousands of acres scorched this summer in the Whittier and Alamo fires.

State and federal workers are currently evaluating risk factors, such as mud flows and water-quality issues, at these burn areas. Funding and resources are tight, however, according to Darren Suen, deputy director of California's flood operations center. He said a bill recently approved by lawmakers and Governor Jerry Brown could alleviate some of these budget challenges.

"The governor signed S.B. 5, so that will be on the ballot. If that passes, that would provide an additional 350 million for flood-related projects," Suen said. 

Voters will chime in on this four-billion-dollar parks-and-water bond next June. In the meantime, the Department of Water Resources is urging residents to plan in advance of any possible winter storms. 

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