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March 30, 2015

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Forecasted rains, Mount Charleston fire soot could combine to create dangerous conditions for motorists


Steve Marcus

Smoke rises from hot spots after a burn out (purposely setting fire inside a control line to consume fuel) on a slope in the Rainbow subdivision on Mount Charleston Tuesday, July 9, 2013.

Las Vegas public works crews are preparing for another weekend of rain, which could wash ash and soot from the recent Mount Charleston fire into the valley, creating dangerous road conditions in the northwest part of the valley.

With chances of rain forecasted through the weekend, the city issued an advisory Thursday warning residents to watch out for street flooding, especially on Grand Teton Drive between Durango Drive and Rainbow Boulevard.

If the rain is heavy enough, it’s expected to wash ash and soot from the Mount Charleston fire down into the valley.

The black, mucky combination of water, ash and soot “is an extremely slippery mixture and if driven through is much like driving on ice,” the city said in its advisory.

Motorists are discouraged from driving through these flows because of the danger, the city said.

“We’re doing everything we can do to be ready, but I encourage people to stay out of these areas if they become flooded with ash and soot,” Las Vegas Councilman Steven Ross, who represents the northwest part of Las Vegas, said in a statement.

Crews spent last weekend cleaning up muck and debris after heavy rains on Grand Teton Drive, Farm Road and Tenaya Way. They’ve spent the past week working to mitigate the effects of any potential flooding, the city said.

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