SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KCBS) – Following the Loma Fire, there’s a new threat facing residents in the Santa Cruz Mountains: mudslides. County officials are preparing for a second wave of damage.
The Loma Fire brought devastation to the Santa Cruz Mountains, destroying nearly 4,500 acres, a dozen homes and 16 outbuildings.
“There’s a lot of structures still standing. As far as the actual terrain, just a lot of burnt vegetation,” Sgt. Rich Glennon of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office told KCBS.
“And the roads even before the fire, generally dirt roads. And so the roads, with all the fire equipment and things like that are even more torn up than they were before,” Glennon said, conditions that make mudslides even more of a threat than in previous years.
Glennon said deputies will be in the field responding to reports of mudslides.
“We’re available 24 hours a day. I definitely encourage residents up there or anyone else, if they need assistance to call us,” he said.
Also, all the loose sediment from the fire could flow into local reservoirs, effecting water quality.
“We’re keeping an eye on it right now. It is a concern,” Colleen Valles of the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
Valles said residents who need sand bags can get them for free throughout the county, but residents must bring their own shovel.