It is especially important to provide adequate protection against flooding and erosion for structures in recently burned areas. Planting in burned areas is similar to planting in newly developed areas. Consult a landscape professional for appropriate ground covers and erosion control techniques. Plant throughout the burned area. It may be necessary to irrigate in order to assure early growth.

Since rains can normally be expected to start in October, plant in the early fall to take advantage of this extra watering.

For more information about soil erosion and prevention, contact the Natural Resources Conservation Service (formally the Soil Conservation Service) at (805) 984-2358 ext. 101, or call a landscape architect or contractor with erosion control experience.

See Figure 21 for a drawing demonstrating techniques to protect areas damaged by fires or other erosion problems.


  • Know the location of interceptor ditches on slopes near your home.
  • Clean silt and debris from these ditches to prevent overflow of storm waters.
  • Remove debris which might obstruct the flow of
  •  Watch storm drain inlets and culvert entrances in your vicinity.


Following a fire, watershed conditions change dramatically. Impacts associated with Fires include:

  • A dramatic increase in rainfall runoff velocity and volume,
  • Extremely high yields of silt and sediments off hillsides and adjacent properties,
  • Potential for debris flows including large rocks and trees,
  • Heightened potential for creek overflow and flooding


Individual property owners have the responsibility to provide protection to their private property. Property owners should carefully survey their property and identify hazards and the steps to protect their property.

The assistance of technical professionals may be advantageous. Hazards could take the form of hillside erosion from your property, or from your neighbor’s, flooding and debris from denuded properties, and creek overflows.