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Heavy rainfall tests mudslide barriers at Avila Fire burn scar

Avila Fire Burn Scar
Posted at 6:43 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 00:36:51-05

Mudslide barriers are holding up near the Avila Fire burn scar during the storm.

The blackened hillsides are a concern for potential debris flow and mudslides.

Crews have put in hay barriers to prevent any rocks, mud or vegetation from flowing down into Mattie Rd. and other residential streets.

The Avila Fire burned nearly 400 acres in Shell Beach in June 2020. More than half a year later, crews are monitoring for possible flooding and debris flow.

"We don't want to take anything to chance. Between our police department and Cal Fire, we have been driving the area over the last couple of days and will continue to monitor it," says Jorge Garcia, Pismo Beach Management Services Director.

Around 4 a.m. Thursday morning, CHP and CalTrans responded to mud and rocks that spilled onto the northbound lanes of Highway 101, but it was quickly cleared out.

Garcia says seedlings were also planted to re-establish roots.

"The best thing that could happen was really what we have seen with those light rains over the last few months. that has really helped re-establish the roots and that will help make sure that we don't have any soil coming down the hillside," says Garcia.

CalTrans says crews will be patrolling the area throughout the storm.

City officials say equipment is staged at city hall and other locations in the community so crews can respond quickly in case of an emergency.