Thomas Fire News Release

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Thomas Fire News Release

Los Padres National Forest Burned Area Emergency Response

Incident: Thomas Fire Wildfire
Released: 12/29/2017

GOLETA, Calif. – Floods and debris flows are common occurrences after large wildfires in and around the Los Padres National Forest. Federal and state agencies are assessing damage and hazards from the Thomas Fire, which will be passed along to Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties for formulation of emergency response plans for their respective communities.

The assessment of federal lands is conducted by a multi-disciplinary group of natural resource specialists called the Burned Areas Emergency Response team (BAER). BAER teams often are composed of hydrologists, soil scientists, biologists, botanists and road engineers from such agencies as the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service. Non-federal lands are assessed by Watershed Emergency Response Teams (WERT), which often are composed of personnel from CAL FIRE and the California Geological Survey.

The assessments for the Thomas Fire are being organized into four geographical areas:

Not every wildfire affects the landscape in the same way, so areas that may not have been flood- or slide-prone previously may now be at risk. County-based emergency service agencies are reviewing assessment reports from the BAER and WERT teams and working on emergency preparation plans for affected communities. After a wildfire, flood risk is usually highest until vegetation returns, which can take up to five years. Flood preparation information is available at:






Unit Information

USFS Shield
Los Padres National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Goleta, CA 93117

Incident Contacts

Santa Barbara County Fire Information
Phone: 800-400-1572
Hours: M-S 7-7p
Ventura County Fire Information
Phone: 805-465-6650
Hours: M-S 24 hours
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National Wildfire Coordinating Group U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Managemen Bureau of Indian Affairs Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Association of State Foresters U.S. Fire Administration
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