New modeling shows that a rush of water nearing the flow of the Colorado River could run off a fire-scarred area and flood downtown Flagstaff.
Coconino County officials say the chance of massive flooding in a normally dry riverbed is rare. But they say the modeling helps target areas of the surrounding forest that need to be thinned to lessen the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
The Arizona Daily Sun reports the county recently released a draft of the study.
It looks at the potential impact of a 100-year storm following a hypothetical 14-square-mile wildfire on the southwestern side of the San Francisco Peaks.
The county’s flood district director, Lucinda Andreani, says water would hit the closest neighborhoods and fan out through downtown Flagstaff…in the event a fire left a scar that could eventually lead to a flood during steady or heavy rains.