The post-fire landscape is especially susceptible to stormwater runoff-related hazards such as landslides, debris flow, flooding, and rockfall. Fire destroys vegetation and root systems that provide stability to the soil. Fire damage may also create hydrophobic soils, which could concentrate runoff into slopes that may already be prone to failure.
It is property owner’s responsibility to control stormwater runoff from their property. Property owners and contractors on burned lots and rebuild sites must take action to prevent pollutants, including sediment, from entering storm drains, creeks, rivers, and wetlands.
Property owners should evaluate their property for potential hazard areas and install erosion and sediment control Best Management Practices (BMPs) as required. The Napa County Debris and Ash Removal Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan will help you evaluate your property and choose BMPs. BMP materials such as wattles, mulch, and silt fencing, are available for purchase at various agriculture, garden supply and hardware stores. BMPs are used to minimize erosion and control sediment to keep pollutants from entering storm drains and our natural water bodies like creeks and rivers.
Visit Napa County’s Watershed Recovery page for more information and resources.