Siskiyou Co. asks residents to be prepared for McKinney Fire debris flows

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. – From rock slides. To flooding. And even debris flows.

Siskiyou County is asking residents to be prepared.

The National Weather Service is predicting anywhere from 2-to-4 inches of rain across the county for the next few days.

“The ground has been dry and it’s been impacted the last few years we’ve been in this significant, extreme and exceptional drought that makes it a little more harder for that water saturation into the dirt and that’s going to be a concern for us throughout,” Siskiyou County Office of Emergency Services director Bryan Schenone said.

After Monday’s storm, Highway 96 had to be shutdown for hours, because of debris flow from the McKinney Fire in July.

In Yreka, ‘Walker Bridge’ near Humbug Creek was washed out as well.

Just last week, Caltrans used mechanical rock scaling efforts to help limit potential mudslides or landslides on Highway 96

Although both areas have reopened, Caltrans is warning drivers who take the highway to be cautious with the wet weather.

Pike: “Our area is no stranger to burn scars,” Caltrans District 2 spokesperson Haleigh Pike said. “So we do always issue warnings for motorists that they’re going to be traveling though areas that have seen recent fires so be aware of that. It can last for several years honestly depending on how severe the fire was.”

In August, rain at the burn scar caused a major debris flow.

Schenone said they were surprised when Monday’s storm did the same.

But a mix of the warmer system moving in, which melted some of the snow, and the significant rainfall caused the flooding, according to Schenone.

The county is now asking residents near the burn scar to be ready to evacuate at any time.

“This time around we’re basically going to prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Schenone said. “Folks that are in the area that are directly affected, we have already made contact with, they should be prepared and they should be alert.”

Schenone said residents should sign up for the county’s emergency alerts, as conditions can change quickly.

There will also be sand bags available at various locations in Siskiyou County.

To find out more, you can visit the Siskiyou County OES’s Facebook page.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
Skip to content