WILDFIRE

Some Mapleton residents worry about future debris flows below burn scar

Aug 19, 2021, 7:29 AM | Updated: 9:28 am
avoid flooding disaster in Mapleton...
Mapleton Fire

MAPLETON, Utah — Some Mapleton residents may need to evacuate every time it rains for the next three years — as their homes, below a burn scar, sit in the path of potential debris flows.

Those residents returned to their homes after evacuation orders were lifted Wednesday. But an 849 acre fire in September 2020 puts residents in the potential path of debris flows, particularly when heavy rain falls.

Blame it on the fire, not the rain

Mapleton Fire Chief Nicholas Glasgow said the flames from the Ether Hollow fire “burned right down to the backyards of some of these homes.” 

Now the left over burn scar means large amounts of dirt and debris could come down the hill when they have heavy rainfall.

“Hydrologists say the steep slopes and as little as 1/4 inch of rain in a 15 minute period could trigger as much as 9 feet of mud hitting some homes,” said Glasgow. 

Mapleton residents receive regular alerts

Last month, strong thunderstorms forced the evacuation of the Mapleton residents who live below the burn scar. 

“We had a very large amount of rain come down — we only had six to eight inches of mud come off of the mountain,”  Glasgow said.

Because of the limited amount of debris flows from July’s rain, Glasgow hopes this week’s storms won’t cause too many problems.

Glasgow said not only have they set numerous sand bag events to prepare, but the town also set up an early warning alert system. The system aims to alert people to the potential threat and evacuate them quickly, without loss of life.

Improvement expected in three years — or more

Unfortunately, residents of about 20 Mapleton homes can expect multiple evacuations over the the next three years, anytime a quarter inch of rain or more falls in a short period of time. Experts told Glasgow by the end of that time frame, the vegetation on the burn scar should grow back and mitigate the risk. 

However, he also said he hasn’t seen much re-growth on the hill due to the drought.  So he doesn’t know if that time period will be extended.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Wildfire

Prosecutors are dismissing the case against a man accused of starting the Jacob City Fire in July....
Adam Small

Case of Jacob City Fire suspect dismissed

Prosecutors are dismissing the case against a man accused of starting the Jacob City Fire in July.
2 months ago
Unmanned drones that drop fireballs are one of the latest weapons against wildfires in the U.S....
Natalia V. Osipova and Catherine Thorbecke, CNN Business

These fireball-dropping wildfire drones are on the frontlines of prevention

The founder of Drone Amplified says the drones method works by burning dead leaves and sticks that could cause wildfire later in the summer.
3 months ago
Pile burning near Kamas for wildfire control....
Waverly Golden

Remember your fire sense, pile burning in Kamas City

If you're in the Kamas City area and see smoke, don't be alarmed. Fire crews ignited piles in the Left-hand Canyon in Kamas City.
3 months ago
Fire in Logan is out....
Waverly Golden

Grass fire in Logan burned about a quarter of an acre

Logan City Fire Department said in a Facebook post that a fire in the area of 700 North and 350 West, Logan, is now out.
4 months ago
wildfire in summit county, parleys fire from above...
Adam Small

Teams continue wildfire mitigation work in Parley’s Canyon

Officials said a catastrophic wildfire could send debris into, and cause other problems for, a watershed relied on by nearly 365,000 people.
4 months ago
Prescribed burning is being planned for the Manti La Sal National Forest. The burns will be held du...
Mark Jones

Prescribed burns are planned for the Manti-La Sal National Forest

Officials with the Manti La Sal National Forest say prescribed burns will be taking place during the fall/winter months when favorable burning conditions allow.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Some Mapleton residents worry about future debris flows below burn scar