What Is This River of Black Sludge Oozing Through Arizona?

There’s a lot of terrifying stuff going on in Arizona these days (and honestly, in the whole of the world, because it’s been a year, y’all), but I’m not sure any of the residents there expected to walk out their front doors to find black sludge that looks like it came out of a horror film and into the street.

Officials from the state shared the video below with the caption “Who had this on their 2020 hellscape bingo card?” and honestly, that feels about right.

They followed up with some details, like that the video was taken on July 15ht near a drainage channel at the northern county line, and that there had been a minor storm just before it appeared.

What IS it, though, and where did it come from?

It turns out it’s not alien (probably), but a flash flood of of mud and debris following wildfires in the region.

The officials followed up with a reminder that “even a light rain can produce devastating flash floods and mudflows, often with little warning.”

And apparently, if there have been fires, it can also be pitch black and oozy.

Wildfires raise the risk of flash floods, since the ground is charred and unable to absorb water. They can occur until the ground and vegetation recovers – sometimes for years.

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Well I took down the video I made showing the story of recovering my lost drone after flying it over the Bighorn Fire on the first night, just a few hours after the lightning strike. I was not aware it is illegal to fly near or over any wildfire. I thought since I was pretty much first on the scene at 1 AM and there were clearly no emergency responders that I was good. Rules are there for overall safety. I think when I boil down every problem I can think of, it always comes down to overpopulation 🤔 If there weren’t so many of us dummies out there, there would be less incidents, therefore less need for rules.😂 Here’s a shot from my Nikon that first night, it was a full moon, 12 days ago now, and the fire is still raging on strong 😥 . . . . . . #tucson #bighornfire #tucsonaz #tucsonfire #wildfires #wildfire #visittucson #igerstucson #instagramaz #igsouthwest #see_arizona #explorearizona #arizonacollective #visitarizona #earth_shotz #earthfocus #earthpix #discoverearth #discoverglobe #artofvisuals #moodygrams #agameoftones #eclectic_shotz #tucsonphotographer #tucsonphotography #bushfire #arizonahighways #arizonawildfire #arizonabushfire #catalinamountains

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This creepy-looking runoff is probably from the Bighorn Fire that has been burning in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tuscon for over a month. It’s thought to have been caused by a lightning strike, ad over 48,377 acres have been burned.

Take care out there, people. I don’t think 2020 is done with us yet.