WeatherImpact Earth


‘Significant flood threat’ possible as Pipeline Fire burns parts of watersheds around Flagstaff

pipeline fire
Posted at 3:31 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 18:41:24-04

FLAGSTAFF, AZ — County officials say some of the watersheds have burned around Flagstaff because of the Pipeline Fire which means there may be a significant flood threat for communities around the area.

The Pipeline Fire was reported around 10 a.m. Sunday, June 12. It has burned 20,000 acres as of Tuesday, according to National Interagency Fire Center data.

On Tuesday, city and county officials met to discuss the wildfire, and the impacts it may have on the communities around the fire.

County officials updated elected officials on the flooding potential, “some of the watersheds will be much more impacted because areas that did not burn during the Museum and Schultz fires have now burned that were not severely burned at that time,” said Lucinda Andreani, with Coconino County.

Andreani said the watershed for the Museum area looks ‘pretty good,’ but adds that the other watersheds that feed into 180 and the Rio de Flag have been pretty substantially impacted.

Andreani told city and county leaders that they are running the analysis on flood risk, “because of the broadness of the area involved, were going to move to a set of virtual meetings for the public so that we can get this information out as soon as we have it, as quickly as possible.”

Coconino County has already ordered 140,000 sandbags for the county, with more on the way.

“We’re going to need lots and lots of volunteers,” said Andreani. "We’ll put out a plea we need lots of sandbags made, and will likely need to help with placement again for those that are elderly and disabled.”

It’s unclear where exactly the flood threats will be from the watersheds burning, but ABC15 has asked the city and county for any maps that we can provide to the public.

Also at risk of flooding are areas near the Museum Fire burn scar, where hundreds of homes are at risk of flash flooding.

Those neighborhoods at the bottom of the burn scar are already preparing for flash flooding in their neighborhoods like we saw last year.