Wildfire and Water Quality


Resources Reduce Contaminant and Sediment Transport to Surface Waters at Home

There are steps you can take and best management practices (BMPs) you can employ to reduce runoff of contaminants and sediment from your property, many of which are inexpensive and relatively easy to install. Stabilization of soils and ash is a critical step in preventing deposition of contaminants in surface waters and wetland habitats. Proper selection and application of BMPs can help.

Implementing Sediment and Erosion Controls at Home

If you are interested in learning more about best management practices, and possibly applying them on your own property, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) provides some excellent post-fire disaster publications, which can be found under the Publications heading on the following web page:

Remember that each of these measures will require maintenance to work properly. If you have questions about implementing BMPs on your property, please contact your regional Central Valley Water Board office via the contacts listed on our Wildfire and Water Quality home page.

California Native Plant Society

Downloadable manual covering topics such as:

  • Frequently asked questions
  • Dos and Don’ts
  • Care and Recovery
  • Erosion Control
  • Fire preparedness
  • Seeding
  • Helpful Decision Trees

Cal/OSHA - Worker Safety and Health in Wildfire Regions

Wildfire smoke and debris cleanup presents hazards that employers and workers in affected regions must understand. Smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that can harm health. Hazards continue even after fires have been extinguished and cleanup work begins. Proper protective equipment and training is required for worker safety in wildfire regions.

City of Redding...Rain Ready

Shasta County and City of Redding website resource for numerous topics related to post-fire recovery.

Ready.gov - Wildfires

How to be safe when a wildfire threatens and associated content.

Sonoma County Resource Conservation District

Webpage contains a variety of resources for homeowners and landowners:

  • Fire Recovery: Helpful Information for All Properties
  • After the Fire: Preparing Your Property for Winter NRCS BMPs
  • After the Fire: Other Helpful Resources to Protect Your Property

Texas A&M Forest Service and Fire Recovery Guide

This practice guide is intended to be a resource for landowners and resource professionals working directly with landowners impacted by wildfire. It presents general guidance, tools, and references for selecting and implementing common soil erosion control treatments that have been proven effective for post-fire rehabilitation.

U.S. Geological Survey - California Water Science Center

In California, where prolonged drought and warmer climates have increased the prevalence, severity, and duration of wildfires, the threat of wildfire is no longer restricted to a single season, but rather a year-round hazard. Wildfires pose considerable risks to water quality and quantity, which in turn affect water supplies, fisheries, and aquatic habitats. The U.S. Geological Survey studies the effects past, current, and future wildfires have upon California's water resources.