After more than 30,000 acres were scorched last summer in the Grizzly Creek Fire, torrential downpours expected Tuesday over the resulting burn scar area could lead to natural hazards, such as dangerous flash flooding and debris flows.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a flash flood watch for the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar until 9:00 PM on Tuesday evening. Portions of northwest and west-central Colorado are expected to be impacted, including the Flat Tops, Central Colorado River Basin, Central Mountain Valleys, and the Gore and Elk Mountains. Keep in mind that flash flooding can occur many miles away from where rainfall is taking place.
#Monsoonal moisture will increase from the south today resulting in scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms. Daily storms will continue throughout the week with heavy rain and gusty winds expected with storms. #cowx #utwx pic.twitter.com/57RlZ95nlA— NWS Grand Junction (@NWSGJT) July 20, 2021
Meteorologists are forecasting heavy rainfall in the Glenwood Springs area, which may lead to flash flooding and debris flows. Debris flows can consist of rock, mud, vegetation, and other loose materials. This can result in water flow blockage, further increasing the likelihood of flooding.
Closures on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon are also possible due to potential flooding. This stretch of highway has been closed multiple times since major mudslides covered the road weeks ago.
The Grizzly Creek Fire burned a total of 32,631 acres in Glenwood Canyon, coming dangerously close to Hanging Lake. The human-caused blaze ignited on August 10th, 2020 and contained months later on December 18.
Editor's Note: All weather statements are subject to change. The flood watch is currently in effect until 9:00 p.m. this evening, but you can check the current conditions at weather.gov. Be sure to check the current road conditions before heading out at codot.gov.