By CBSLA Staff

SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) – Fire departments across the southland are on high alert even as the rains dwindle, but leave washed out roads and debris flow in the wake of the storm.

By Tuesday afternoon, the heavy rain and strong winds had subsided in Santa Clarita, but many residents remained concerned about mud and debris flows in burn scar areas.

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“It gets concerning, definitely, just because of the past experiences. We’ve had two close fires since I’ve lived here,” Canyon Country resident Marco Escribano said.

Escribano and his best friend Eddie Lizarraga went through the Tick Fire two years ago. Flames threatened homes and charred hillsides in their neighborhood, including the hillside in their backyard.

“With the rain and stuff just pushing the debris towards the fence, you know, that just gets worrisome sometimes,” Lizarraga said.

Dec. 14, 2021 (credit: CBS)

Both men said they were thankful to see the debris basins in the area were not full. A Department of Public Works employee told CBSLA that crews have been monitoring them and drained them early this morning. He said several inches of mud and debris had collected from the overnight hours.

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“You can see a lot of mud and debris that’s going to impact both residences and roadways,” Tim Jarvis, with the LA County Fire Department, said.

County fire now has extra staffing and a mud and debris flow task force in Santa Clarita and across the county.

“The hills are vulnerable. So, I would just encourage people to use common sense when driving along roadsides, to keep their eyes, obviously, on the road, but also on the hills around them to help keep themselves safe,” Jarvis said.

Not far from Lizarraga and Escribano, new homeowner Triza Abdermelak and her husband, who just moved into their new Canyon Country home, said they will start fortifying their yard because of the rain.

“My husband is very good with that stuff, so he know exactly how he can do anything to protect us, protect the house. So, yeah, he’s very good with that. So, we’ll see,” Abdermelak said.

Along with the storm, another concern was the wind, which could cause trees and power lines to come down, though LA County Fire said so far they’ve had no such issues in Santa Clarita.

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