GLOBE, AZ. (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Telegraph Fire is one of Arizona's largest wildfires. It has now burned more than 180,00 acres. Dozens of structures are now gone. Now concerns about flooding are emerging.
"The Telegragh Fire took our home and all of its contents. It scorched our entire 40 acres of land," said Tari Infante. She and her husband lived in El Capitan and lost everything. Now, a new a threat is looming. "We are very afraid of flooding. We are hearing stories that the floods can be severe," said Infante.
Experts said burnt terrain and soil could increase the risk of flooding in Miami, Globe and surrounding communities. A Burned Area Emergency Response team (BAER) with the Tonto National Forest is assessing the damage now that crews have a handle on the blaze. "They go out into the field and do field verification of the severity of burn to the soil itself," said Michael Martinez with Tonto National Forest.
Teams are making a soil burn severity map so community members know if they are at risk. Gila County, Miami and Globe City officials held a meeting Friday night to lay out a plan to protect communities and homes. Right now, crews are focusing on Miami and Globe. They are clearing out debris from washes and creeks and putting in sand bags and concrete barriers. Gila County also plans to create an emergency access road if Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center gets flooded.
People who were unable to attend the meeting can watch the meeting here.