The raging fires in Pole Creek have stopped but danger still lurks. The danger resident’s now face are mudslides. These mudslides are the results of a “burn scar” from the Pole Creek fire. A burn scar occurs on a mountain side after the forest has been burned. This leaves nothing but debris and ash. Then when rain comes and hits these areas there are no plants to suck it up or keep debris and mud from sliding down the mountain. This then causes flash flooding and mudslides.
Local home owner Richard Jaussi said, “We weren’t here last night, neighbors notified us of the mudslide, my in-laws came up this morning and this was all covered in mud. National Guard men said to come back in about 5 hours we need to dig it out we aren’t letting anybody up.”
People found that more than four feet of mud had slid down the mountain. The National Guard arrived around 12:30 in the afternoon and had spent at least five hours cleaning and digging up all the mud that slid from the mountain.
Members of the National Guard were almost hip deep in mud. All week long homeowners and volunteers have been bagging sand and placing it around their property to try and stop the mud from hitting their homes.
“I’ve been carrying sand bags and, uhm, whatever they tell me to do,” said George Brinker.
Most people see the mud and fear it might be too late to get flood and mudslide insurance. However, under federal law, Fe-ma requires that when a forest fire burns on government land flood insurance can be purchased within 60 days of the mudslide or flood and still apply.
“The National Guards men are awesome! You know they’re going right through mud up past their knees…they’re not complaining, they’re just doing their job,” said Richard Jaussi.
Unfortunately, the weeks forecast shows even more rain as the week comes to an end. But according to George residents are feeling optimistic.
“We could have more of the same only now we are more prepared for it because of all the sandbags and National Guard. So hopefully we’re ready!”