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Wildfire burn areas under flash flood warning, urban flood warning issued for Sacramento

·4 min read

Note: The Sacramento Bee has lifted the paywall on this critical public service information. To support vital reporting such as this, please consider a digital subscription.

The National Weather Service has issued at least three flash flood warning for areas of the Sierra foothills Sunday that were burned by wildfires this summer and are now threatened by the intense storm hitting Northern California.

Such warnings, an elevated level over a flash flood watch, means a flash flood is imminent, according to the weather service.

The warnings were issued for areas of the Caldor Fire in El Dorado County, the Dixie Fire in southwestern Lassen and northwestern Plumas counties and the Beckwourth Complex fire scars in southeastern Lassen County.

Closer to Sacramento, the weather service has issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for most of the Valley through 2 a.m. Monday.

Caldor Fire burn area

In El Dorado County, forecasters said “doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated heavy rain moving towards the Caldor Burn Scar. Flash flooding is expected to begin within the next several hours. Take action now.”

The warning remains in effect until 3 a.m. Monday.

Such excessive rain can result in debris flows in the burn areas around Kirkwood, Kit Carson, Grizzly Flat, Twin Bridges and Sierra-at-Tahoe.

At 1 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a flood warning covering El Dorado, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra and Alpine counties.

Dixie Fire burn area

Farther north, Caltrans has already reported multiple slides and debris flows in the Dixie Fire burn area around Highway 70 in southwestern Lassen and northwestern Plumas counties, prompting a flash flood warning.

The weather service issued a flash flood warning for that area until 3 a.m. Monday.

Areas affected by that warning include Chester, Almanor, Prattville, Lake Almanor West, Lake Almanor Country Club, Canyondam, East Shore, Caribou, Seneca, Belden, Twain, Paxton, Indian Falls, Bald Eagle Mountain, Tobin, Crescent Mills, Storrie, Keddie and Greenville.

Beckwourth Complex burn area

The weather service office in Reno issued a flash flood warning for the area burned by the Beckwourth Complex in southeastern Lassen County, as well as Plumas County.

Those areas include Doyle, Frenchman Lake, Chilcoot-Vinton, Frenchman Campground, Big Cove Campground, Spring Creek Campground, Chilcoot Campground.

“Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result in debris flows. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials,” the weather service said.

Flood advisory for Sacramento, most of Valley

The weather service issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for a wide area of the Central Valley just before 10 a.m.

The advisory is in effect through 3 a.m. for the following areas:

  • Colusa County

  • Southeastern Glenn County

  • Placer County

  • Sacramento County

  • Northern San Joaquin County

  • Solano County

  • Northern Stanislaus County

  • Sutter County

  • Yolo County

  • Yuba County

  • Amador County

  • Southern Butte County

  • Calaveras County

  • El Dorado County

  • Nevada County

  • Plumas County

  • Sierra County

  • Tuolumne County

“We are seeing heavy rain across the area. This will cause widespread urban and small stream flooding,” the weather service’s Sacramento field office said.

Areas that could experience flooding include Sacramento, Stockton, Elk Grove, Roseville, Fairfield, Vacaville, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Davis, Rocklin, Woodland, Galt, Oroville, Auburn, Grass Valley, Marysville, Placerville, Jackson, Carmichael and Fair Oaks.

Forecasters are cautioning motorists not to travel on roadways today because of localized flooding and debris. “Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Be aware of your surroundings and do not drive on flooded roads,” the NWS said.

More flood watches are in effect

Most of these areas were already under a flood watch through 11 p.m. Sunday, according to forecasters.

The National Weather Service said that heavy rainfall would continue on into Monday with areas near Highway 395 in Eastern California receiving between 2 and 6 inches, depending on which side of the highway they were on. Forecasters said the most intense rainfall would be west of Highway 395 in the Sierra.

The areas affected include Lassen, Plumas and Sierra counties.

An urban and small stream flood advisory is in effect across the Valley in Lake and Mendocino counties through 12:45 p.m.

Locations that could be affected include Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Willits, Point Arena, Laytonville, Albion, Potter Valley, Philo, Boonville, Rockport, Leggett, Hopland, Gualala, Comptche, Dos Rios, Branscomb, Redwood Valley and Calpella.

Wind advisory remains in effect

Strong winds are expected to last through 11 p.m. Sunday, prompting a wind advisory for most of the Sacramento Valley by the weather service.

“Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects,blow down weakened trees and cause downed tree limbs,” forecasters said. “Power outages are also possible.”

The wind advisory covers the the entire Sacramento Valley, as well as the Carquinez Strait and Delta areas, northern San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra foothills northeast of Sacramento.

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