August 3, 2021 |
Despite a weather pattern that has dumped monsoonal rains on southern Wyoming in recent days, Carbon County has dodged any significant flooding in the area of the Mullen Fire burn scar. The blackened, scorched out area in both Carbon and Albany Counties has been at risk of flash floods and debris flow since last year’s fire burned up large areas of vegetation that drinks up snowpack and late season rain.
Last week’s mudslide between Fox Park and Woods Landing has been the most significant event resulting from the fire so far.
Carbon County Emergency Management Coordinator Lenny Layman has been watching the weather forecasts each day and in touch with responding agencies. Layman said some minor flooding has occurred in Carbon County, but worst case scenarios have not developed.
Layman said Carbon County has not spent any money so far on post-fire mitigation, although ground assessments are ongoing.
FEMA announced yesterday the release of $77,000 to Carbon County and $352,000 to Albany County to mitigate damage from the Mullen Fire. Layman explained how the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program money can be used.
The FMAG program has a 75 percent federal cost share, with the remaining costs the responsibility of the state and the applicant. Layman said the assessment process will take several years to complete as different agencies monitor what is happening on the ground over time. He added that the program has the ability to grow and attract more money as the monitoring continues and more is learned about what hazards were created by the massive fire that burned across 177,000 acres. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The situational aware update for Tuesday from Layman’s office puts the potential for flooding and debris flows high today because of weather impacts from the forecast heavy rains.
Pictured above: Power line in Mullen Fire burn area. Photo courtesy Carbon Power & Light/Facebook.