Filtrexx SiltSoxx for Post-Fire Remediation

2021 Dixie Fire Remediation

California’s latest major wildfire in Dixie has just been brought under control after burning for three months and destroying nearly 1 million acres of land.

Learn how the California Conservation Corps is working to install erosion control BMPs in areas destroyed by the Dixie Fire, in order to protect their watershed from sediment and pollutants.

CCC Article: Helping Greenville Recover in Wake of Dixie Fire Destruction

CCC Article: CCC Joined by FEMA Corps in Grizzly Flats Fire Recovery

2018 Camp Fire Remediation

In May 2019, Filtrexx hosted a post-fire remediation workshop in Paradise, California in response to the Camp Fire wildfire that devastated homes and businesses in Northern California the previous November. Over 100 consultants, government agencies, erosion control companies and more attended this day-long event to learn the importance of BMPs and their proper installation, maintenance and removal. This video shows how Filtrexx was able to collaborate locally to help in ongoing fire remediation efforts.

Download our Fact Sheet or contact our team to work together on your post-fire remediation plan.

Case Study: California Valley Fire Remediation

Originally published in Erosion Control Magazine, May 2017, by Janice Cessna

"As a waste management engineer for the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), Todd Thalhamer occasionally serves as operations chief for large-scale fire remediation projects throughout California. Recently, he directed structural debris cleanup operations for the massive Valley Fire. Covering 76,000 acres in Lake County and minor portions in adjacent Napa and Sonoma Counties, the fire consumed nearly 2,000 structures containing potentially hazardous asbestos and heavy metals..."

Read the full article here

SiltSoxx Advantages for Post-Fire Remediation

  • Superior & consistent results—SiltSoxx is an industry leading sediment removal BMP1
  • Greater performance than straw wattle, gravel bags, and silt fence1
  • Lower maintenance & easy disposal with the lowest overall project cost2
  • Installs rapidly and easily—no trenching required
  • Original compost filter sock with 15+ years of peer-reviewed research & field use
  • Excellent ash retention for post-rain event clean-up
  • Use on bare soil or concrete
  • Available in-stock nationwide
  • Sustainable product—uses locally recycled organic materials to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

1See Filtrexx TechLinks #3331, #3332, #3333 for research summaries. 2EPA Erosion Control Alternatives Cost Calculator (2006).

Project Profile: California Camp Fire Remediation

Download the project profile PDF here.

For Matthew Kearns, erosion control was always a family business. Matt’s father started an erosion control business in the late 1980s with a focus on lawns, sports fields and golf courses. Matt and his younger brother, Chad helped their dad out with the business. When Matt graduated from high school, he joined the military and his brother continued working for his dad. When Matt returned home from his military service in 2016, he and Chad were ready to start their own business.

“We knew we wanted to start some sort of business together,” said Matt. “We already had all the equipment from my dad so we decided to go into erosion control on the construction side. That’s how Grassroots Erosion Control, Inc. started.”

In October of 2017, Northern California saw a series of 250 wildfires, covering 245,000 acres and destroying nearly 9,000 buildings. A debris removal company contacted Grassroots for help with post-fire remediation. At this point, the business was just Matt and Chad but they were able to provide erosion control for 170 lots in Northern California. Grassroots was exclusively hydro-mulching at this time.

In July of 2018, another debris removal company contacted Grassroots for post-fire remediation help on the Carr Fire, which burned in Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area. The Carr Fire burned nearly 230,000 acres and destroyed over 1,600 buildings. This time, Grassroots was able to provide erosion control using hydro-mulch and straw wattles on 800 lots.

When the Camp Fire hit in November of 2018, Matt knew they were going to need additional help for the workload that this fire would entail. “We knew we were going to have to hire a crew for Camp Fire. We needed more bodies,” said Matt.

“What we really wanted to do was hire locally and give back to the community. We knew people had lost jobs, their homes and were in desperate need of work. We used Alliance for Workforce Development, Inc. to be paired with people in the community who lost their homes and needed work.”

Filtrexx SiltSoxx Fire Remediation at Camp Fire
Filtrexx SiltSoxx Fire Remediation at Camp Fire

As Matt began to hire crew members unfamiliar with how to install erosion control products, he realized there was a need for education. Matt met with Filtrexx sales representative Bryan Hofmann and they discussed the need for a best practices workshop. Matt had attended a previous erosion control workshop with David Franklin, consultant with Envirotech NPDES Services.

“I had attended two of David’s workshops in the past and David is a great teacher,” said Matt. “Our original idea was to just educate Grassroots crew members, but Bryan took the workshop idea and ran with it.”

Bryan organized over 100 participants in the post-fire remediation workshop held in Paradise, California in May that included consultants, government agencies, erosion control companies and more.

“Our guys really liked the workshop,” said Matt. “We still use David’s lingo from the workshop. I had a few guys that didn’t attend and they really missed out. The workshop was so helpful and I’d do another one in a heartbeat. We’re about education at Grassroots and we want to be on the forefront of change in our industry. We aren’t just doing stuff to do stuff.”

When Matt and his crew aren’t doing post-fire remediation clean-up, they work on Caltrans projects. Matt wants Grassroots to be a leader in the erosion control industry when it comes to product use.

“This industry is always evolving,” he said. “New products are always being introduced and we want to understand how they all work. Some people just throw out BMP’s just to do it. We want to do things with a purpose.”


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