Stanislaus National Forest, CA — Forest Officials report the Rim Fire burn area responded well to the recent rains. They say the recent storms brought almost three inches of rain near Groveland and nearly seven inches at Mt. Elizabeth near Twain Harte. That sparked fears of damage in the burned out areas.
“It’s been a combination of preparedness, and then forgiving weather, that got us through the first rains of the season,” says Don Ferguson, BAER Team Spokesperson.
Forest officials stress some areas within the Rim Fire burned so intensely that steep ground with fragile soil has little or no vegetation or organic material left to keep the soil in place during a storm. Ferguson says it is lucky we got a slow steady rain, instead of a downpour so, “There was only minimal erosion, and no roadways were washed out. It looks like all of the hard work after the fire is paying off.”
During the rains, the Groveland and Mi-Wok Ranger Districts had “storm patrols,” looking for blocked ditches or culverts and evidence of soil movement. Ferguson says those patrols will continue, and if a problem is spotted it will be fixed immediately.
All of the Forest Service roads within the Rim Fire remain closed to motorists due to safety hazards. Forest Officials say since October the total rainfall across the Rim Fire burn area ranges from 6 to 12 inches.