Sonoma County Wildfires: Watershed Recovery + Resiliency

In October 2017, the Sonoma Complex Fires tore through our county, burning over 112,000 acres of land and destroying 5,300 homes. As our Sonoma County community continues to cope with the tragedy of losing homes, businesses, and loved ones, we remain inspired by those who continue to show immense bravery, compassion, and willingness to help others. The disastrous wildfires brought our community closer together, and that spirit of cooperation and closeness has been essential as we’ve begun the rebuilding and recovery process. Ag + Open Space has an integral role in the recovery of our entire community, with a specific focus on the restoration and ongoing protection of our county’s natural and working lands.

Assessment of Our Protected Lands

Approximately 7,000 acres of Ag + Open Space-protected land were directly affected by the fires. In addition to reaching out to easement landowners who suffered damage to offer our support and share resources, Ag + Open Space staff conducted visits of Ag + Open Space-owned properties, including Saddle Mountain, Calabazas Creek, and Dogbane Preserves, and our Cresta and McCullough properties along Mark West Creek.

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Watershed Collaborative

Sonoma County Ag + Open Space took an active role in the county’s post-fire watershed recovery and resiliency efforts. With direction from our Board, we convened the Watershed Collaborative – a countywide, multi-agency watershed recovery effort, with a focus on long-term resiliency of our natural and working lands. Together, this group developed a shared vision for short-term recovery and long-term strategies for watershed resiliency. High priority actions included health and human safety related to water quality, landslides, and flooding, as well as impacts to sensitive species and ecosystems.

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Property Owner Resources