Fernwood Slide

Here is a great photo by Michael Troutman of the mess we all seem to have dubbed the Fernwood Slide.


This is not likely the end of it, though depending on the upcoming rains. IF, as I have heard, there is a chance of 10 inches in 3 days coming up, then this slide will continue and possibly get worse. Rock Knocker and I have been watching this spot since the fire, as have many of you.

Michael Troutman had this to say:

“I sought out and found a geologist/soil engineer working for Caltrans, as I was greatly interested in why the actual slide was not precisely where the debris flow was yesterday.

It turns out that there is no main water course directly above on the surface, but this is actually from water percolating out through the rock from a very large area of the huge slope above; there is so much water the rock can no longer contain it. What happened is that where I photographed it yesterday was not ultimately the path of least resistance. When the water saturation reached some sort of critical mass it found a different way through the base of the hill just a few hundred feet north of the area I was in yesterday…and so finally *BAM* the whole damn hillside just came down.”

Personally, I don’t think this is over. There is too much winter left, too much water already percolating, too much burn area affected – no matter what happens the rest of January, we are in for a rough ride, but if we are lucky, and hold our heads  just right, add the necessary tin foil, this year will NOT repeat the winter of 1978.