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Wildfires fuel dangerous floods

Charred debris being carried by flood waters
Posted at 5:45 AM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 08:45:22-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Bighorn Fire left parts of the Santa Catalina Mountains burnt which allows flood water to travel further.

"It triggered flows that came down almost 20 miles away," Joe Cuffari, the program manager with the Pima County Regional Flood Control District, said about a small rainfall from last year.

The downstream flows also pick up charred debris on the way down.

"You can have tree trunks, logs, vegetation, rocks, boulders, coming down," Cuffari said.

This can be dangerous to both you and your home. Cuffari recommends that if you are in an area that can flood to get flood insurance.

"We live in a desert. It doesn't flood, but when it does it can be catastrophic," Cuffari said.

Within Pima County, residents who live in a FEMA designated hazard area (pink on the map below) are required to have flood insurance. Because the county works to maintain many of the areas that are prone to flooding, there is a 25% discount on insurance premiums. Residents who are in other flood areas (light blue on the map below) are not required to get insurance but are still able to get a 10% discount.

Flood Insurance Rates
Flood Insurance Rates

For those looking to add preventative measures to their homes, several places are offering free sandbag stations. To find the closest one to you, click here for an interactive map.