Los Padres National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1980 Old Mission Drive
Solvang, CA 93464
SPECIAL SAFETY NOTE: Everyone near and downstream from the burned areas should remain alert and stay updated on weather conditions that may result in heavy rains and increased water runoff. Flash flooding and landslides may occur quickly during heavy rain events-be prepared to take action. Current weather and emergency notifications can be found at the National Weather Service website: wwwweather.gov/mtr/.
Alisal Post-Fire BAER Safety Message
Preparing for Rain Events
While many wildfires cause minimal damage to the land and pose few threats to the land or people downstream, some fires cause damage that requires special efforts to prevent problems afterwards.
Thunderstorms and winter rain events in the coastal mountains can result in high water runoff and flooding.
Wildfire increases the potential for flooding, post-fire soil erosion and debris flows that could impact campgrounds, recreational areas, homes, structures, roads, and other infrastructure within, adjacent to, and downstream from the burned areas.
Post-fire, watershed conditions will naturally receive and transport water and sediment differently than during pre-fire conditions.
The public and communities adjacent to and downstream from the wildfire areas should expect increased flooding and debris transport during less than average rain events.
SAFETY CONCERNS CONTINUE AFTER THE FIRE IS OUT
The potential for increased water runoff and debris flows are not just a one-year concern.
We need to recognize the threat potential of flash floods and debris flows may exist for the next several years, depending on the intensity of these storms.
For life and safety concerns, burned area national forest closures may need to be implemented prior to forecast rain events until the burned area fully recovers.
Residents and visitors should remain alert to weather events and plan ahead when travelling along roads within and downstream from the burned areas of the Alisal Fire.
ASSESSING ALISAL FIRE BURNED WATERSHEDS RESPONSE
A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has been working with the Los Padres National Forest, to assess the condition of the watersheds on National Forest System (NFS) land burned in the Alisal Fire.
The BAER assessment team identifies potential emergency threats to critical BAER values, and recommends emergency stabilization response actions that are implemented on federal land to reduce potential post-fire threats.
BAER critical values that may be considered at-risk on federal lands are:
§ Human life and safety.§ Property such as buildings, water systems and infrastructure, utility systems, road and trail prisms.§ Critical natural resources such as water, soil productivity and hydrologic function, areas where invasive species or noxious weeds may impact native or naturalized communities and may include critical habitat or suitable occupied habitat for federally listed threatened or endangered species.§ Critical cultural and heritage resources such as pre-historic and historic properties and sites.
ASSISTANCE FOR PRIVATE LAND AND HOMEOWNERS ADJACENT TO AND DOWNSTREAM FROM BURNED AREAS
For values and resources potentially impacted off federal lands, one of the most effective BAER strategies is interagency coordination with local cooperators who assist affected businesses, homes, and landowners with preparing for rain events.
While multi-agency efforts are being taken to reduce the risks to life and safety adjacent to and downstream from the burned areas, nearby residents should develop individual plans to protect themselves and their property.
The Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) work together and coordinate with other federal, state and local agencies, and counties that assist private landowners in preparing for increased run-off and potential flooding impacts.
NRCS and local sponsors prepare damage survey reports for eligible sites on private lands adjacent to and downstream from affected areas. NRCS uses these reports, along with the Forest Service BAER team’s assessment report, to develop emergency measures to reduce the impacts from potential increased water and debris flows, and assist local sponsors to implement recommended emergency measures through its Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program: (www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb1045263.pdf).
All EWP Program–Recovery projects begin with a local sponsor or legal subdivision of state or tribal government. Eligible sponsors include cities, counties, towns, conservation districts, or any federally-recognized Native American tribe or tribal organization. Interested public and private landowners can apply for EWP Program–Recovery assistance through one of those sponsors. For more information on NRCS Disaster Assistance Programs: NRCS CA Post-Fire Disaster Assistance.
The following state and local county offices of emergency management promote preparedness through its emergency services programs to assist the public to prepare for, respond appropriately to, and quickly recover from natural emergencies that may impact county residents and visitors:
Homes or businesses that could be impacted by flooding from federal land that resulted from wildfires may be eligible for flood insurance coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Information about NFIP is available through FEMA at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program, or FEMA Wildfire Increases Flood Risk. Other flood preparedness information is available at www.ready.gov/floods at www.floodsmart.gov/.
|Current as of|
|Incident Type||Burned Area Emergency Response|
|Coordinates||34.5 latitude, -120.047 longitude|