After the fires: Devices will help detect flash floods

Idaho StatesmanMay 9, 2014 

Real-time data Precipitation gauges installed by the U.S. Geological Survey in Blaine County will help warn emergency managers about problematic rainfall in areas hit by the 2013 Beaver Creek Fire. The lack of vegetation on burned slopes makes many areas vulnerable to debris flows and flash flooding.

Early warning Four of the six gauges are in place. Heavy snowpack is delaying installation at the final two sites. The gauges are designed to get the word out to emergency response officials and the public as soon as possible to help protect people and property, said Corey Loveland, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Pocatello.

Flood risk obvious The Beaver Creek Fire was started by lightning last August and burned more than 114,000 acres near Hailey and Ketchum. Rain that fell shortly after triggered localized flooding.

Outlook The burned areas will be at increased flood risk for up to five years, a Blaine County official said.

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