Forest Service warns heavy rain may cause landslides



TROUT LAKE — The Gifford Pinchot National Forest says heavy rains forecast for Sunday and Monday might trigger large landslides and drainages around Mount Adams are especially vulnerable.

Weather forecasts call for 2.4 inches of rain in 24 hours ending Monday.

“This is the kind of storm that can trigger debris flows down channels anywhere around the mountain depending on where the rain goes.” said Tom DeRoo, fire rehabilitation team hydrologist. “This can happen whenever it rains like this, unrelated to the fire.”

The Cascade Creek Fire has burned 20,000 acres on the south and west sides of Mount Adams. The rain is expected to extinguish what’s left of the blaze.

DeRoo said the most affected drainages will be Cascade, Morrison, Salt and Crofton creeks, along with any of the major drainages around the forest.

“Downstream, there is the possibility of a muddy flood in the White Salmon and other rivers,” he added.

The fire closure for Mount Adams Wilderness remains in place.

“The Forest Service is working on rehabilitation of the fire area on Mount Adams, however, the big concern with the predicted rains is for public safety,” said Nancy Ryke, district ranger. “We want to let people know debris flows are a real possibility.”