In the early morning hours of November 8th 2018, a fire sparked in the Pulga Area in the North Fork Feather River Canyon of Butte County. Aided by sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts up to 70 mph, in combination with steep topography and critically dry vegetation, the Camp Fire rapidly spread to become the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history. The Camp Fire quickly consumed small foothill towns in northeastern Butte County and decimated the town of Paradise, a town of approximately 27,000 residents. The fire reached 100 percent containment after seventeen days on November 25, 2018 and ultimately covered an area of 153,336 acres (almost 240 sq. miles), and destroyed 18,804 structures.
On November 28th staff from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and Butte County Public Works hosted a meeting in Oroville, California with multiple Federal, State and Local Agencies to discuss the potential water quality impacts resulting from storm water runoff throughout the area consumed by the Camp Fire. The group organized to select emergency water quality monitoring sites throughout the burned area. Since the initial meeting, the Central Valley Water Board has worked with Butte County, the Department of Water Resources and the California Department of Transportation to implement a rigorous water quality sampling effort within numerous watersheds affected by the Camp Fire. At this time, the water quality sampling effort is focused on several surface water bodies to identify pollutants which may cause adverse water quality conditions and impacts to beneficial uses of those surface water bodies. Sampling results will be shared with state and local agencies as well as through press releases for any necessary warnings regarding the consumption of surface water.
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Camp Fire Contacts
Central Valley Water Quality Control Board
364 Knollcrest Dr., Suite 205
Redding, CA 96002
If you have questions about the Board’s response or water quality concerns related to the Camp Fire, please contact:
- Melissa Buciak
- Stacy Gotham
Water Resources Control Engineer
For media requests, please contact:
- Clint Snyder
Assistant Executive Officer