ADOT ready for potential flooding following wildfires

ADOT ready for potential flooding following wildfires

By Ryan Harding / ADOT Communications
August 27, 2020

After the Bush Fire was contained and put out, ADOT began to do its evaluation of the damage. In addition to more than 11 miles of guardrail and right-of-way fence damage along SR 87 and SR 188, south of Payson, the land itself was damaged with a lot of the vegetation burned up as fuel for the fire. 

This left the area more susceptible to flooding in the event of monsoon storms. 

Realizing this possibility, ADOT reached out to the National Weather Service and began to develop an emergency action plan that could help cut response times in the event of flooding in the area. 

The plan, which helps fulfill ADOT’s initiatives in the Pathfinder Program with the Federal Highway Administration, will go into effect when a monsoon storm approaches the area just south of Payson. The National Weather Service will contact ADOT’s Traffic Operations Center to advise them of the potential for rain in the area. The TOC will then dispatch maintenance crews to pre-stage equipment such as loaders, skid-steers and backhoes as well as other equipment like barriers and portable message boards.

This emergency plan was put into action in late July when a mudslide occurred on SR 188. Crews were able to respond quickly and close the road. The heavy equipment they rolled out was able to clear the road of mud. See the photos of our crews working to clear the highway.

The Pathfinder Program came about through FHWA’s Every Day Counts innovation recognition program. It’s designed to keep travelers informed and improve safety, mobility and the movement of goods during storms that impact highways, through enhanced collaboration between FHWA, the National Weather Service, state DOTs and other stakeholders.

You can find more information on the program by going to and searching Pathfinder.