Monsoon rains last night in the Mangum Fire area caused flash flooding, resulting in three forest roads being washed out. Power had also been out at Big Springs but has been restored. Roads affected and associated closures are in effect for:
- Forest Road 22 washed out and impassable at Oak Canyon – closed approximately 9 miles south of US Route 89A.
- Forest Road 422A is washed out and impassable at Jacob Canyon.
- Forest Road 461 is impassable just up canyon from the 22 junction – closed at east gate on FR 461 and south gate on FR 462.
Impacts to the area are being assessed today. Additional damage may occur in the Mangum Fire area with forecasted rain tonight.
Areas heavily affected by fire, especially in and near steep terrain, are susceptible to flooding and washing out during intense rainfall. The loss of trees and other vegetation in burned areas leads to an increased chance of flooding and debris flows which can pose a significant risk to human life. Visitors should exercise extreme caution while traveling in the burn area.
Floods on fire-scarred areas can contain soil, vegetation and woody debris, and rock that rush down canyon sides, naturally funneling into stream channels, capturing additional material in their paths, and form thick, fan-shaped deposits at canyon mouths and open areas.
Those planning to visit open areas of the forest should check the weather forecast frequently, as conditions can change in a very short timeframe. Be aware that short intense bursts of rain may be particularly dangerous. If you observe movement of soil, debris, or flooding, move to higher ground immediately. If you hear sounds such as trees cracking, or boulders knocking together, move to higher ground immediately. Be especially alert while driving. Embankments along roadsides are susceptible to landslides.
Current conditions can be obtained by contacting the North Kaibab Ranger District at 928-660-3913 or checking the Kaibab National Forest website, www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab. Additional forest information is also available through Twitter www.twitter.com/KaibabNF, Facebook www.facebook.com/KaibabNF, and Flickr bit.ly/KaibabNFPhotos.