Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire burn scar could lead to flash flooding

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MORA, N.M. — Returning home for wildfire evacuees from Mora and Las Vegas doesn’t mean they can rest easy.

The burn scars from the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire could lead to another natural disaster. After a wildfire moves through an area, the burn scars are prone to flash flooding.

Las Vegas Mayor Louie Trujillo is warning everyone living near the Gallinas River to be ready.

“To start preparing their homes, to start preparing their properties for flooding,” Trujillo said.

Debris from the fires could also wash down with the flood water, potentially contaminating their drinking water. Las Vegas engineers are anticipating that possibility.

“We would have to divert that water so it doesn’t go into our reservoirs and into our drinking water,” he said.

Trujillo also talked about President Joe Biden’s visit to Santa Fe this Saturday, saying he and other officials plan on speaking with the president – not only about wildfires – but the flooding that can come from the aftermath.

The wildfires didn’t just destroy homes, it destroyed vital infrastructure in communities surrounding the fire. On Wednesday, the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority delivered a potable water tanker to San Miguel County in order to assist in recovery efforts from the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire.