A fire in the Glenoaks and Chevy Chase canyons in Glendale on May 3, 2013 forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. Rain is likely to soak the region for several days this week prompting officials to patrol the recently charred canyon hillsides for potential debris flow. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / May 3, 2013)

With rain likely to soak the region for several days this week, public safety officials plan to patrol the recently charred canyon hillsides for potential debris flow.

The first storm is expected to arrive today, but the strongest downpour will drench the region on Friday with 2 inches of rain in the valley to 4 inches in the mountains and foothills.

Still, weather forecasters said the second storm may include heavy and intense rainfall, which could cause debris and mud flow in recently burned areas.

"That's kind of a concern in terms of the deeply saturated areas," said Glendale Fire spokeswoman Brandy Villanueva.

Glendale fire officials began preparing on its own debris flow plan for Wilson Terrace and Chevy Chase Canyon after the area ignited last May and scorched 75 acres.

Fire officials analyzed the recently scorched area and developed potential debris flow patterns, so "that we know what to expect," she said.

The plan has also allowed the Fire Department to address potential issues that may arise from debris flows.

The city's Public Works Department has started prepping for the storms and a call-back list for its crew is ready, the department's director Steve Zurn said.

"Once the event starts, we will continue to monitor and determine if we need to keep staff on longer shifts as a precaution," he said. "All in all, we are poised and ready."

While the rain storms may create potential public-safety hazards, officials said the downpour is needed.

Recent fires and drought conditions have left the hillsides extremely dry. Villanueva said a considerable amount of rain is needed "to no longer have those hillsides so dry."

The Fire Department, she said, urge hillside residents to prepare for impending rain.

Residents should make sure they have sandbags along their property and have cleaned their rain gutters.

FYI

The following list includes locations where sandbags are provided.

  • All Glendale fire stations, the city's Public Works yard and the Glendale Water & Power yard give free unfilled sandbags to residents. Sand is not provided.

  • The Public Works Yard is open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at 541 W. Chevy Chase Drive. The yard can be reached at (818) 548-3950.

  • Sandbags can be purchased at: Virgil's Hardware, 520 N. Glendale Ave.; Glendale Builders Supply, 4415 San Fernando Rd.; Home Depot, 5040 San Fernando Rd.

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