Fox News Weather Center

California Drought May Be Cause for Mt. Shasta Mudslide

U.S. Forest Service officials continue to monitor a mudslide that occurred Saturday at Mt. Shasta in northern California.

The mudslide began around 3 p.m. PDT Saturday and continued through the night in Mud Creek Canyon, a Forest Service spokeswoman said in a news release.

The cause of the mudslide is believed to be due to the drought conditions which have left Mt. Shasta's glaciers exposed to the sun's heat.

A mudslide from Mt. Shasta crosses Pilgrim Creek Road in northern California. (Photo/U.S. Forest Service/Steve Bachmann)

"Pockets of liquid water can be held in place by glaciers; when a portion of that glacier shifts or melts, it can release water down the mountainside. These flows gather debris as they travel, creating potentially dangerous conditions for anyone traveling through the area," Shasta-Trinity National Forest spokeswoman Andrea Capps said in the news release.

The region is in currently under extreme drought conditions, according to the Palmer Drought Intensity Index.

No relief is expected this fall to help alleviate the drought conditions, meteorologists have said.

The mudslide closed two roads in the area; Highway 89 remained open.

As debris continues to flow, impacts will also be seen in the lower McCloud River. Sediments from Mud Creek will likely impact water quality and fishing by creating turbidity issues in the river below Lake McCloud, Capps said.

No structures were damaged and there were no reported injuries.