Large scale fires, like the Woolsey Fire, leave the land stripped of vegetation, charred, and less able to absorb rainfall.
What starts as normal rainfall can turn quickly into costly and potentially deadly floods and debris-choked mudflows, and the increased risks of flooding in burned areas can continue for years.
Most homeowner’s policies do not cover damage caused by flooding. Residents and business owners, particularly those in the burn zone or in areas below creeks and streams where vegetation may have been destroyed during the fire, are encouraged to buy flood insurance now. In most cases, it takes 30 days for the policy to go into effect. However, after federally-declared fire disasters, the waiting period may be shortened.
For further information on flood risks and insurance, go to FloodSmart.gov.