Fire response requires deliberate application of a variety of approaches, always tailored to the specific fire event due to differences in geology, precipitation, burn severity and extent, beneficial uses of local water resources, staff expertise and availability, and the availability of other resources. The preference in a developed area is to address hazardous materials, which can include ash and burned elements of homes, garages, and businesses. This is generally completed by post-fire response teams from CalRecycle, the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
If the burned area cannot be cleaned up, as will be the case in most of the wildland and open space burned areas, staff recommendations will likely include the installation of best management practices (BMPs) to mitigate sediment and any pollutants running into the waterways, where such measures have the greatest chance of being effective. These practices might include installation of sediment retention basins, installation of straw wattles/fiber rolls, hydroseeding, or other activities aimed towards mitigating the risk of, or impacts of, sediment-laden runoff. More information about specific erosion control BMPs is
available in the general fire response information available in the "Resources" section of this page (upper right). Site-specific questions regarding the application of BMPs in the post fire environment can be directed to the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS offers site-specific consultation and can be reached at their regional office locations.
If possible, Central Valley Water Board staff will support, participate in, and/or lead water quality monitoring to measure post-fire impacts on regional water resources. These efforts will generally focus on high-value waterways, such as those supporting anadromous fish, and drinking water sources. Information pertinent to the public will be made available to the extent possible, but questions regarding individual post-fire monitoring activities may be asked of individual offices, via the contact information listed above.