Safe Landscape Blog
The Natural Resources Conservation Service has a series of helpful fact sheets about post-fire erosion control methods. To choose the right methods, you'll need to examine your unique situation and goals. These include whether your concerns are more immediate or if you have the opportunity to consider medium to long-range vegetation recovery, the degree of your slopes, how intense the burn was near you (is there still standing charred vegetation that might re-sprout?) and what the underlying geology and soil types are. You may need a site visit from an erosion control specialist, but these fact sheets can help you weigh your options NRCS Post-fire resources
Ventura County residents should also be following the County's post-fire website - http://venturacountyrecovers.org/ - of special note, Calrecycle just announced they will be able to assist homeowners with debris removal - http://venturacountyrecovers.org/information-meetings-set-calrecycle-debris-removal-services-deadline-right-entry-forms/
California is experiencing an unprecedented wildfire season. The season is extraordinary not only due to the number of acres burned, but aslo due to the length, with large fires and red flag warnings expected through the end of the year. In October of 2017, fast-moving wind-driven wildfires burned through more than 200,000 acres in seven California counties. More than 8,000 homes were destroyed and 42 people lost their lives as they tried to escape. In December, new incidents began in Southern California, with the largest fire, the Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties estimated at almost 272,000 acres (~435 mi2) as of 12/19/17. Smaller fires such as the Rye, Creek, and Skirball fires in December and the La Tuna fire in September occurred in Los Angeles county and burned just under 30,000 acres. Losses in Southern California were extensive in Ventura and Southern Santa Barbara counties (over 1250 structures destroyed or damaged).
The Thomas fire is one of the largest fires ever recorded in California history – but perhaps more important than acreage is the location of this, and the recent wine country fires burning significant areas of urban and suburban development. The land uses affected by these fires are complex as well, including residential and commercial areas as well as areas of row and tree crops, active rangeland, and wild habitat along with its significant watershed protection and recreational values.
In addition to the local resources to be found at http://ucanr.edu/sites/SAFELandscapes/, statewide information and resources can be found here.
Thomas Fire image captured on 17 December 2017, by the MODIS instrument, on board the Terra satellite. from https://earthdata.nasa.gov/thomas-fire-california
California Water Blog discusses the impacts of fire to watersheds in Northern California - while the focus is on the role of fire supression and the benefits of returning coniferous forest to a more natural fire regime, this really doesn't describe the case we see in our chaparral dominated systems in the southern part of the state. Still, this describes some of the issues we'll need to consider as we begin to ask how the Thomas fire will affect our water - and how California's overall water picture is affected by climate change. It also leads us to investigate how we can work with our fire experts up north to understand the differences in fire's impacts around the state.
If you didn't get a chance to see them before,the North Topanga Fire Safe Council has put together a great set of video presentations about fire and fire preparation in the Santa Monica Mountains (with application to all of Southern California). Presenters include yours truly, Sabrina Drill, discussing how to prepare your landscape to survive a wild fire, both in a talk and in a field tour; Steve Quarles with the Insurance Insititute for Building and Home Safety discussing how to help your home and structures withstand a wild fire; and Robert Taylor and Katherine Kirkpatrick from the National Park Service talking about fire ecology in the Santa Monica Mountains. Find them at https://sites.google.com/site/ntcfsc/ntcfsc-lecture-series and http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbUISiOvLVATCDThi75NVpFZmi4oL0cc2
The Union of Concerned Scientist is presenting a public forum to discuss how the changing climate will affect wildland fire regimes in Southern California, and how the insurance industry is responding. This forum will be held June 28th from 10:30 to 12:30 in Pasadena. http://action.ucsusa.org/site/Survey?SURVEY_ID=20740&ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&autologin=true
From their flier -
Wildfires cost California hundreds of millions of dollars each year in firefighting efforts and property damage. With climate change fueling the frequency of wildfires, Californians who live in high-risk areas are facing an additional threat to the availability and affordability of their homeowners insurance.
A public forum on June 28 hosted by California State Senator Carol Liu, with a keynote address by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, will examine the latest climate information about what Southern California can expect in coming years and how insurers, policymakers and consumers can work together to identify the best methods to strengthen our resilience to the impacts of climate change.
RSVP today at ucsusa.org/insuranceca! Bring your questions for the Q&A section. Refreshments provided.
Hosted by California State Senator CAROL LIU Featuring California Insurance Commissioner DAVE JONES Join us for this important forum on climate change and wildfires, and what they mean for your future Panelists will include insurance experts, scientists, and first responders
WHERE: Pasadena Central Library, Donald R. Wright Auditorium 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 RSVP today: ucsusa.org/insuranceca