Damage from the 2023 Smith River Complex that burned in California and parts of Southern Oregon

Flash Flood Watch issued for Smith River burn scar area

Damage from the 2023 Smith River Complex that burned in California and parts of Southern Oregon

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch for parts of Southern and Western Oregon, including parts of Curry and Josephine Counties.

The watch is in effect from Friday evening through Saturday afternoon.

The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries says  heavy rain can result in landslides as well as debris flows in and near burned areas from recent wildfires.  This includes the Smith River Complex burn area.

Debris flows can contain boulders and logs moved in a fast-moving slurry down steep hillsides and through narrow canyons.  The Department says debris flows move faster than a person can run.

People, buildings, and roads below steep slopes and near the mouths of canyons may be at a higher risk.

If your home, work, or route is in a watch area:

  • Stay alert. Track the flood watch by radio, TV, weather radio, or online. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Listen. Unusual sounds might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together.
  • Watch the water. If water in a stream or creek suddenly turns muddy or the amount of water flowing suddenly decreases or increases, this is a warning that the flow has been affected upstream.
  • Travel with extreme caution. Assume roads are not safe. Be alert when driving, especially at night. Embankments along roadsides may fail, sending rock and debris onto the road.

For more landslide and debris flow information: https://www.oregon.gov/dogami/landslide/Pages/debrisflow.aspx

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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