Stormwater mitigation construction underway in De Beque

The effects of the Pine Gulch Fire are still being felt in the town
Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 4:38 PM MDT
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DE BEQUE, Colo. (KKCO) - The Town of De Beque is still facing consequences from the 2020 Pine Gulch Fire. Officials became concerned after a group of homes in the town became at risk for flood and water damage - because of the fire.

One site in De Beque along a creek was identified as needing stabilization. With homes close to the edge, the chance of property damage from flooding and rain water had some worried.

Mesa County Project Manager Josh Springer explained that, “So up in Pine Gulch now that, with the fire burning all the vegetation away, that causes every time that there’s a rain event up there, it won’t soak into the ground as well, and running down the cliffs, and collecting.” Crews are hauling boulders along the creek to shore up the cliff. Afterwards, willow trees will be planted to help firm up the ground as well. With bigger and faster water flows expected in the creek, the homes next door are at risk

According to Springer, “These vertical cliffs here have some houses up here that would suffer some property damage if we weren’t stabilizing the armoring the banks of the creek.”

According to De Beque Town Administrator Care’ McInnis, the collaboration between federal, county, and town departments to spearhead the project means a lot to the community. The project is being funded through a Department of Agriculture grant. That money, according to McInnis, allowed De Beque to hire experts the town wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

The county expects this project to be wrapped up by late-July. Then in October, crews will come in to re-plant the area. McInnis also said the county encouraged residents in the area get flood insurance because of increased risk of water damage.

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