Storm brings trouble to communities impacted by Detwiler and Railroad Fires

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Employees with Mariposa Public Works spent Thursday clearing culverts as rain starts rolling into the mountain area.

"Been looking at infrastructure, we've been looking at potential slides, revamping and cleaning all the fire debris out of our stormwater system," said Mike Healy.

The preparations come right as a storm is expected to come through several parts of the Central Valley.

But with acres of land scorched by the recent Detwiler Fire, Public Works Director Mike Healy says they are worried about mudslides and trees falling over.

"What concerns us is that where we used to have vegetation to add more structural integrity to those hillsides, that's missing right now," said Healy.

Public Works officials say they've placed barriers and ditches along burnt hillsides.

Meanwhile, Cal Trans crews started preparing state highways days ago, even replacing damaged infrastructure.

"Our crews are going to be patrolling all the roads to make sure if any rocks or debris falls down, they can clear that off," said Warren Alford.

Both Mariposa and Madera County are under a flood watch. Cal Trans started working on clearing areas burned by the railroad fire. They plan to have crews ready to respond

"As you get to the sugar pine area you start to see the burnt area and any spot above highway 41. Those are the areas we're really going to be watching," said Sam Yniguez.

Homeowners are taking matters into their own hands, building rock walls to prevent debris from coming near their homes.

Meanwhile, crews remain on high alert as rain continues to fall.
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