Too much of a good thing? Rain could cause more devastation in California

PARADISE, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Rain falls on a home destroyed by the Camp Fire on November 22, 2018 in Paradise, California. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As rain hit California on Thursday, officials prepared for the threats of mudslides and debris flows in areas affected by wildfires.

Flash flood watches and evacuation orders were issued for the parts of California scorched by recent wildfires as possible thunderstorms threatened to increase the risk of mudslides and debris flows in those areas.

In Southern California, Cal Fire of Riverside County issued mandatory evacuation orders for some communities affected by the Holy Fire, which burned more than 22,000 acres earlier this year. The order was initially a voluntary one, but was changed to a mandatory order because of the projected amount of rainfall, officials said.

“Up to 1.81in have been reported in the area,” the National Weather Service said Thursday morning. “More rain is expected through the night and tomorrow.”

Orange County Fire Authority announced a flash flood watch and ordered voluntary evacuations for homes located in Trabuco Creek, Rose Canyon, and in the Mystic Oaks/El Cariso areas, which were also scorched by the Holy Fire.

Orange County fire stations were offering residents sand and sandbags.

The National Weather Service Sacramento also issued a flash flood watch for burned parts of Northern California, including areas where the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire, the Camp Fire, raged for more than two weeks this month, killing 88 people.

A flash flood watch was also in effect through Thursday morning for communities scorched by the Mendocino Complex and Carr fires, which each burned hundreds of thousands of acres

“Ash, mud, and debris flows will be possible with heavy rain,” the weather service posted on Twitter.

Up to 2 inches of rain is expected throughout Northern California over the next 24 hours, said CNN Meteorologist Taylor Ward. Up to 3 inches of rain is possible in some areas, according to Taylor.

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