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Evaluating the effectiveness of burned area emergency response (BAER) efforts after the 2003 wildfires, southern CaliforniaAuthor(s): Peter M. Wohlgemuth; Ken R. Hubbert; Jan L. Beyers; David R. Weise
Source: In: Watershed Management on the Edge: Scarcity, Quality and Distribution, Proceedings of the Watershed Management Council Tenth Biennial Conference, November 15-19, 2004, San Diego, California. University of California Water Resources Center Report No. 109. pp. 129-137
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
PDF: Download Publication (1.45 MB)
DescriptionWildfires burned approximately 300,000 hectares (750,000 acres) across southern California in the fall of 2003. Over 10 million dollars were spent on Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) treatments following these fires. To support the BAER efforts, we designed a comprehensive strategy with standardized protocols to evaluate the effectiveness of various erosion control techniques. Road treatments, to control runoff and protect the roadbed, were monitored using photo points. Hillslope treatments, to control runoff and surface erosion from the hillsides, were monitored using repeat photography and silt fences to measure erosion from both treated and untreated plots. Stream channel treatments, to control scour and trap transported sediment, were monitored using photo points. Results indicate that the road treatments were generally successful. Straw mulching applied both by hand and aerially, was an effective erosion control technique if the straw was not first removed by wind erosion. Fiber rolls controlled erosion on the hillsides, but not in swales or drainages. Aerial hydromulch, both complete coverage and 50 percent strips, reduced hillslope erosion compared to untreated controls. Channel treatments, both straw bale check dams and log check dams, trapped some sediment, but were prone to failure and were unable to prevent subsequent downstream channel scour. http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/WRCA/WRC/pdfs/WRCReport109.pdf
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CitationWohlgemuth, Peter M.; Hubbert, Ken R.; Beyers, Jan L.; Weise, David R. 2007. Evaluating the effectiveness of burned area emergency response (BAER) efforts after the 2003 wildfires, southern California. In: Watershed Management on the Edge: Scarcity, Quality and Distribution, Proceedings of the Watershed Management Council Tenth Biennial Conference, November 15-19, 2004, San Diego, California. University of California Water Resources Center Report No. 109. pp. 129-137.
KeywordsErosion control, erosion monitoring, post-fire erosion, BAER treatments, wildfires
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