Fire has always been part of the California landscape. As we integrate ourselves into forested areas, fire continues to have a greater impact to our lands, homes, and daily lives. For those who live in the wildland edges understanding the forest regenerative process following fire can strengthen our rebuilding efforts supporting both people and the land.
The recent fires burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains have displaced thousands of Santa Cruz Mountain residents and damaged or destroyed homes, roads, farms, and forests. As we approach the coming winter, the fire-scarred landscape will exacerbate erosion potential on hillslopes and private road drainage systems in the burn areas. Understanding appropriate techniques to manage runoff and debris will help to protect your property and our creeks and rivers.
The aftermath of wildfire can significantly affect our local creeks and rivers. While erosion is a natural process, the loss of vegetation and soil cover after a fire increases runoff and sediment input to waterways.