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AGENDA ITEM: 4.
Justin Turner, Public Works
DISCUSSION OF BIGHORN FIRE AND IMPACTS
The Bighorn Fire has presented the Town of Oro Valley with an increased threat of flooding. Coordination with Federal, State, and local agencies is ongoing in response to the fire and the post fire flood potential.
BACKGROUND OR DETAILED INFORMATION:
On June 5, 2020 lightning struck above Pusch Ridge in the Santa Catalina Mountains causing what would become the largest forest fire in Pima County history. As of July 8, 2020 the Bighorn Fire has burned roughly 119,000 acres across the entire mountain range. Pima, Pinal, and Cochise Counties all have watersheds that have become affected by the fire. The Town of Oro Valley has joined with these Counties and our Federal, State, and other local municipalities in a coordinated effort to address the fire response and post fire flooding potential.
The Town of Oro Valley has been proactive in outreach efforts to notify our residents of the potential flood hazard associated with the fire asking folks to know their protect themselves and their property or business. Staff has encouraged area residents to know their flood hazards near their homes and directing them to the National Flood Insurance Program. In addition, the Town as encouraged folks to sign up for Pima County's ALERT System, where available, to get near real time updates on rainfall and stream gauge data as rainfall comes off of the mountain. The National Weather Service has also published a Bighorn Fire Burn Scar Flash Flood Briefing to provide specific weather patterns associated with the fire. A new release published on June 19, 2020 outlines steps the public could take to help themselves prepare
Coordination with Pima County Regional Flood Control District (PCRFCD) and the Arizona Department of Transportation for maintenance activities along the Canada Del Oro and Rooney Washes has transpired in preparation for potential flooding.
The Pima County Regional Flood Control District has also contracted with a consulting firm to perform post fire hydrology and hydraulic models for the mountain to assess potential flood threats and identify areas of concern. Coordination with PCRFCD is ongoing on this effort.
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