Wednesday, 12 December 2018, 04:07:34 am
Mudslide risk in Southern California wildfire zones
G+
December 07, 2018

LOS ANGELES: Heavy rains and the threat of mudslides in Southern California forced the closure of a key coastal highway near Malibu on Thursday and prompted authorities to order evacuations of almost 3,000 residents from hillside areas scarred by recent wildfires.

The same Pacific storm also brought snow to the region’s high country, leading to the temporary closure of a stretch of Interstate 5 called the Grapevine, a major truck route that traverses a mountain pass north of Los Angeles, officials said.

The storm, which led the National Weather Service to issue flash-flood warnings for parts of Southern California, heightened concerns about the long-term risk of mudslides and debris flows around communities where wildfires have stripped foothills and canyon slopes of vegetation.

Last month, the Woolsey Fire incinerated 1,500 buildings and charred 97,000 acres (39,000 hectares) in the upscale coastal enclave of Malibu and adjacent areas near Los Angeles, leaving large swaths of hilly landscape vulnerable to slides and flooding. Reuters