WARNING: Everyone within and downstream of burned areas should remain alert and stay updated on weather conditions that may result in heavy rains over the burn scars. Flash flooding and debris flows may occur quickly during heavy rain events—be ready to evacuate on short notice. Learn how to prepare at: "Post-Wildfire Debris Flows."
California Watershed Emergency Response Teams (WERTs) help communities prepare after wildfire by rapidly documenting and communicating post-fire risks to life and property posed by debris flow, flood, and rock fall hazards. The WERT response is led by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the California Geological Survey (Department of Conservation). To learn how the CGS works with CAL FIRE and others to analyze landslide potential on newly burned landscapes, visit the CalConservation blog: Notes from the Field.
Requests for WERT report information should be directed to CAL FIRE. (CAL FIRE by default provides WERT evaluation reports and maps to affected communities, flood control managers, and emergency managers.)
Updated August 9, 2023
In 2022, CAL FIRE and the California Geological Survey deployed WERTs to the following major burns located in state responsibility areas:
Enhanced landslide hazards continue to exist in the 2021 wildfire areas. A typical watershed recovery period after fire is two to five years; but in some areas it can take up to ten years as trees die and roots decay. Please keep this in mind and plan accordingly.
Enhanced landslide hazards continue to exist in the 2020 wildfire areas. A typical watershed recovery period after fire is two to five years; but in some areas it can take up to ten years as trees die and roots decay. Please keep this in mind and plan accordingly.
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David Longstreth, senior engineering geologist, was one of many in the field assessing post-fire geohazards in the Santa Cruz area after the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex:
Web page by: California Geological Survey - Burned Watershed Geohazards Program