The possibility of rains could help firefighters... and also present some challenges

Posted at 9:04 PM, Nov 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 02:14:54-05

With rain in the forecast for the central coast... that may offer firefighters battling the Cave Fire some help and possibly present some challenges as well.

"It definitely affects our community. You know- I think we all have a little PTSD from the Thomas Fire," said Margaret Coyn, Santa Barbara resident.

According to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, runoff is typical for Highway 154 with normal rainfall, but with the chance of rain following the Cave Fire that is no longer the case.

"There is nothing left vegetation wise... it is pretty much a moonscape up there and if we get a significant amount of rain falling in a short amount of time that is going to present a problem because you are going to have runoff and you could possibly have debris flow... some of the culverts can get clogged," said Mike Eliason, Public Information Officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

However, it is not all bad news.

The rain could also help firefighters attack the blazes in hard to reach areas.

"We are hoping the rain is steady in its rain but not intense and that is going to help us with the firefight- putting out a lot of those stubborn smokes out," said Eliason.

Excess amounts of rain could present problems for homes... especially those situated in the foothills below the burned areas.

Eliason said if and when it does rain, roads will become slippery and strongly encourages people to make sure their cars are equipped to handle the wet weather.