State, local agencies, and community groups have formed the Watershed Task Force to take action to protect the health and safety of the local watershed, and prevent flooding and storm water pollution after the 2019 Kincade Fire. Task Force groups are formed after disasters to allow state, federal, and local government line staff partners to come together with subject matter experts to address specific areas of recovery, including day-to-day strategy decisions and how to allocate resources effectively and efficiently to respond to emerging needs. Task Force groups typically do not involve elected officials.
The Watershed Task Force is supporting property owners by implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) which are used to keep pollutants from entering storm drains and our natural water bodies like creeks and rivers. The team is currently putting together a program for erosion control for private property, and public lands. Funding sources are being pursued to support these efforts. It is the responsibility of property owners, in the process of clean-up and rebuilding, to control storm runoff. Property owners and contractors on burned lots and rebuild sites must prevent pollutants, including sediment, from entering storm drains, creeks, rivers, and wetlands.
Wattles and other BMP materials, such as straw, are available for purchase at various agriculture, garden supply, and hardware stores. BMPs are used to keep pollutants from entering storm drains and our natural water bodies like creeks and rivers. The County is providing $300,000 to fund implementation of BMPs on private property. Contracts are being finalized with Russian River Keeper, Community Soil, and Sonoma Ecology Center. All three organizations have experience with BMPs after the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires and are continuing their efforts with the Kincade Fire. Property owners can visit socoemergency.org/Recover for extensive information and resources about how to be Rain Ready. Additional efforts by the Watershed Task Force include developing a debris flow hazard assessment with the State of California through the development of a Watershed Emergency Response Team (WERT) Report. Long-term efforts have already begun looking at the needs for continued rainfall monitoring and needed year two BMP efforts.