At least 13 lives have been lost in a tragic mudflow that swept across Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties in California earlier this week. Heavy rains have made Southern California susceptible to flooding and debris flows, particularly following the recent wildfires which stripped the steep terrain of vegetation. Vegetation is a crucial component involved in holding the land together during periods of precipitation. The fires transformed the physical properties of the soil, making it less absorbent. Thus, the soil becomes much more vulnerable to erosion.