For many people, the forecast of heavier rain starting this weekend is good news for a drought-stricken state. But for those who suffered through the wildfires this past summer, the rain brings new worries about what might happen to all that newly unstable ground.
The CZU Complex Fire burn zone runs from San Mateo County into the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the rain could trigger a while new disaster there.
On Thursday, crews were busy taking down huge, often charred, trees in the burn zone, some right above homes.
“That’s what’s concerning, that the valleys will gather the debris and funnel it down,” said Chip Voelker of Boulder Creek.
Travis Tree Professionals has cut down about 100 trees in burned areas since the fire.
“This tree could go right through that house,” said Bob Pilgreen, owner of Travis Tree Professionals. “That was the big scare, because one mistake and their house would be gone.”
Pilgreen said a lot of trees were like that after the fire.
The homeowner was relieved his house was saved but worries that heavy rains could leave his family stranded.
“In terms of ‘now,’ it’s a hilly terrain,” said Boulder Creek resident Des Keane. “There’s a concern about debris flow and landslides in the winter rains.”
There are several other nervous homeowners watching the rain forecasts, especially with so many trees and brush still to cut.