Pipeline Fire West Flood Area
Last Content Update:
The Pipeline Fire was reported on June 12, 2022, approximately 6 miles north of Flagstaff within the Coconino National Forest. The fire burned 26,532 acres, including portions of the Schultz Creek and Chimney watersheds. A burn scar assessment and flood modeling subsequently showed potential post-wildfire flood risk to neighborhoods on the west side of Flagstaff. Both the City of Flagstaff and the Coconino County Flood Control District are collaborating with public and private partners and taking extensive measures and precautions to mitigate damage from future potential flood events.
Frances Short Pond Update
Over the summer, the City removed over 5,000 cubic yards of ash and debris from post-wildfire flooding that had settled in Frances Short Pond. The City also repaired the retaining wall and improved drainage into the pond.
This fall, the City is working to install electricity to deliver dissolved oxygen to the pond for fish. A valve will also be added to the pond to connect it with a future channel downstream. After this work is completed, the pond will be refilled and reopened to the public.
Interior or Exterior Flood Damage
If you have experienced flooding on the interior and/or exterior of your home, please call 928-213-2102 to report the damage. While the City is not able to provide financial compensation for restoration or repairs, it is important to track damage costs so that the data can be reported to the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. All information collected is kept confidential.
Flood Risk Assessment Map
As the 2023 monsoon season approaches, please review the Flood Risk Assessment Map for the Schultz Creek area produced by JE Fuller Hydrology and Geomorphology. While the impact of the Schultz Creek Detention Basins on water flows has been modeled and can be viewed here, this map should not be used to determine the height of mitigations such as sandbags. This is because the Schultz Creek Detention Basins can fill up and overflow, as we have seen this spring. Residents should base their short-term mitigations on the October 25, 2022 Flood Risk Assessment Map, which can be viewed here.
The map models potential water flows after a rain event in which two inches of precipitation falls on the Pipeline Fire burn area in 45 minutes. The Flood Risk Assessment Map has been prepared utilizing the best available data. However, unpredictable changes may occur in the flow patterns and channels as watershed conditions constantly change due to levels of saturation, debris, sediment impacts, and other factors. These changes could impact the modeling results used to prepare the map.
No changes to temporary mitigations are recommended in 2023. Only outward-facing sandbags that are damaged need to be replaced. Sandbags that are not broken and are still in working order should not be replaced due to limited supply.
Residents who are elderly or have a disability and need assistance with their sandbags can call the City’s service request line at 928-213-2102.
Materials for self-fill sandbags and a limited supply of pre-filled sandbags are available at Thorpe Park (in the parking lot off Aztec St between Frances Short Pond and the softball fields).
Emergency Notification Thresholds
During rain events in 2023, emergency notifications will continue to be sent out as per the established thresholds outlined in the graphic below. Flood Directors will also take into account the capacity of Schultz Creek Detention Basins and other watershed conditions when determining when to send out emergency notifications.
Residents are urged to sign up for emergency notifications at coconino.az.gov/ready to ensure they receive potentially lifesaving notifications on flood alerts this monsoon season.
Preliminary flood hazard modeling of areas impacted by the Pipeline Fire indicates an increased risk of flooding for some neighborhoods within Flagstaff City limits. Homeowners' insurance policies do not cover flood damage and coverage must be purchased separately. More information can be found on the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program website.
Pipeline West Post-Wildfire Flooding Updates
Rain & Stream Gauges
The City operates a network of gauges that collect real-time rainfall and streamflow data throughout Flagstaff and the surrounding area. Citizens can also sign up to receive e-mail notifications on rainfall and stream flow data.