Up-close look at flood danger in High Park Fire zone
LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — The area is known as Young Gulch. It was one of the hardest hit High Park Fire burn areas on forest land.The U.S. Forest Service took the media on a tour of the area, Tuesday, to show first-hand, why the land is an elevated risk for flood.
The walk is about a mile from the trailhead on Highway 14, up, at times, a charred path. Not everything is destroyed. There are some trees and areas that, for some reason, were not touched.
But the biggest fear for authorities is what you can’t forecast: the probability and consequences of a flood. “There could be some issues for life and safety, and also, water quality. And we’re going to be hearing about that, too. Everything that washes down here, where does that drain out at? Into the Poudre River,” says Kristy Wumkes, with the U.S. Forest Service.
The forest service is asking for funding to help with, among other issues, mulching. It could take 3-5 years for the area to be completely restored.
The High Park Fire consumed more than 87,000 acres, destroyed dozens of homes and killed one person.