Public Notice: Frye Fire Additional Threats

June 27, 2017

Graham County Board of Supervisors / Emergency Management Public Service Announcement

As the Frye Fire continues to burn over 40,000 acres on Mt. Graham it possess an additional threat as the monsoon season arrives:

Be aware of post-wildfire hazards, primarily flooding and landslides. Large-scale wildfires dramatically alter the terrain and ground conditions. Wildfires leave the ground charred, bare, and unable to absorb water, creating conditions for flash flooding and mudflows. Flood risk remains significantly higher until vegetation is restored-up to 5 years after a wildfire. Flooding after fire is often more severe, as debris and ash left from the fire can form mudflows. As rainwater moves across charred and denuded ground, it can also pick up soil and sediment and carry it in a stream of floodwaters.

Flooding is the most common hazard in Arizona and the United States, with all states experiencing floods or flash floods in recent years. Arizona sees between 40-100 floods each year, costing millions of dollars in repair and recovery costs.

Arizona floods are typically caused by the monsoon, winter storms, or as a result of heavy rain in a fire­ damaged region. Because of events such as the Frye Fire, the Department of Emergency Management and Military Affairs (DEMA) encourages people to understand their flood risk, prepare accordingly, and mitigate against a potential flooding event:

  • Visit Flood Smart to determine if your property is at risk for flooding. Flood-hazard maps show risk in every community.
  • Measure the cost of a flood. Calculate the cost of potential damage to your home.
  • Insure your home. Talk to your insurance provider about the type of flood insurance coverage you need.
  • Prepare you home against flood waters by clearing debris from gutters, raising appliances and constructing barriers to prevent water from entering the home.

For additional information regarding flooding please visit the below sites:

Monsoon: https://ein.az.gov/monsoon-awareness

Flood Risk: https://ein.az.gov/flood-risk

Wildfire (this page has information on post-wildfire flooding and landslides): https://ein.az.gov/hazards/wildfire

National Flood Insurance Program/FEMA.gov: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program