Recovering From Fire
In the wake of the August 2020 CZU Lightning Complex fires, the RCD is providing support to those impacted by wildfires in our community. If you have natural resources concerns on your fire-impacted property, please contact Sheena Sidhu at sheena@sanmateoRCD.org.
Funding and Assistance Programs
- Neighborhood Chipper Program – you cut and stack, we’ll do the rest!
- Puente de la Costa Sur: contact directly for assistance at (650) 879-1691 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Private insurance: contact your insurance company. If you cannot locate records, you can search for your insurance using the State’s tool.
- FEMA: The CZU Lightning Complex Fire has officially been designated a disaster, and FEMA assistance is available. How to apply here.
- US Small Business Association: Small Business Disaster Loan for Wildfires
- USDA Disaster Assistance Programs at a Glance (PDF)
- Community Alliance with Family Farms (CAFF): Emergency Farmer Assistance Grant – 2020 Wildfires. English Application / Aplicación Español
Services We Offer
The RCD is offering these current services related to fire recovery and resiliency in our impacted watersheds:
- Technical assistance information and site visits to determine resource needs and appropriate actions concerning erosion, riparian areas, forest management, etc.
- Information and resources will be sent out in our electronic newsletters.
- Connecting landowners with funding resources available for post-fire natural resource protection.
- Natural resource permit assistance on a fee for service basis.
- Free webinar series: Protecting Your Land After Wildfire
Preparing for Winter After the Fire: What Property Owners Can Do
- You can help by taking simple steps by placing straw wattles, hay bales, and mulch around burned areas to reduce the chances of ashes and other material from washing into streams. Be sure that these are certified weed free so that you don’t infest your natural area with weeds.
- Remember that everything that is outside drains to creeks and streams. Don’t use leaf blowers or hoses to remove ash and debris.
- Get help from professionals who are certified, registered and/or licensed before selecting and installing large, permanent or semi-permanent treatment measures.
- Wear protective gear whenever you work in burned areas.
- Watch for unusual movement of water, land, and debris during or after rain, particularly if your property is on a hillside.
- Have an emergency plan and leave your property if it becomes unsafe during or after a storm.
- Minimize soil and slope disturbances. Ash, leaf drop, downed trees and remnant burned vegetation all play a role in protecting the soil and slopes following wildfire.
- Work with your neighbors. Runoff, erosion & debris flows have no boundaries.
- Private roads require more maintenance in the first few winters following wildfire. Clear debris upstream of culverts as possible, and check culverts for clogging after every storm. If culverts or other road drainage structures do not appear to be functioning properly, consult a professional.
Resources for Homeowners and Landowners
Fire Recovery: Other Helpful Information for All Properties
- California Native Plant Society Fire Recovery Guide (updated 2019)
- Living with Fire in San Mateo County (PDF)
- Dos and Don’ts (PDF)
- Post Fire Top Ten Things to Consider (PDF)
- Protecting Bare Soil Following Wildfire
- Some Notes About Seeding Grasses Following Wildfire
- A Note About Mulching for Erosion Control After Wildfire
- Straw Wattle Typical Drawing from NCRCD
- Watershed Emergency Response Team (WERT) Evaluation for CZU Lightning Complex – The California WERT helps communities prepare after wildfire by rapidly documenting and communicating post-fire risks to life and property posed by debris flow, flood, and rockfall hazards. The interagency team recommends potential emergency protection measures to help reduce the risks to those values. Agencies, such as RCD, can use the report in the development of more detailed post-fire emergency response plans.
NRCS After the Fire Fact Sheets: Preparing Your Property for Winter
- Contour Sandbags (PDF)
- Erosion Control Mats (PDF)
- Hand Raking (PDF)
- Hillside Home Drainage (PDF)
- Hydromulching (PDF)
- Log Erosion Barriers (PDF)
- Sandbag Barrier (PDF)
- Seeding (PDF)
Resources for Fire-damaged Forests and Oak Woodlands (all NRCS, UCCE, Cal Fire sources)
- Burned Oaks – Which Will Survive? (PDF)
- Recovering from Wildfire – Forest and Woodland (PDF)
- Fire Restoration Forestland and Woodland (PDF)
- Survival of Fire Injured Conifers in California (PDF)
- San Mateo County
- Resources Legacy Fund
- Private donors