MoCo sandbags for those in Fire & High Risk Flood Areas

Sandbags, Sand Stockpiles Available for Monterey County Residents in Fire and High Risk Flood Areas

Post Date:11/16/2020 11:50 AM

This summer’s wildfires make being prepared for winter weather more important than ever, as post-fire areas are at high risk for flooding and debris flow.

Residents who are in close proximity to the burn scars, in areas of high risk or who are concerned about urban stream flooding or high water situations can take advantage of Monterey County’s sandbag distribution and sand stockpile locations. You can find sand stockpile, sandbag distribution locations and helpful information on filling sandbags on the Monterey County Winter Storm Preparedness page. The list of sandbag distribution sites is here.  Residents should bring shovels and plan to fill and load the bags themselves at stockpile locations. Limited assistance is available.

Of greatest concern this year are the areas impacted by the Carmel, River and Dolan Fires, nearly 180,000 acres in Monterey County. Those fires have done long-lasting damage to both the immediate area as well as locations that may be several miles away which could be affected by flash flooding and debris flows. Rainfall that would normally be absorbed runs off extremely quickly after a wildfire, as burned soil is water repellant, so less rainfall is required to produce a flash flood.

Those living in and around burned areas can find out more about these dangers by taking part in a post-fire Winter Storm Preparedness webinar on November 18, 2020. Details and webinar links are at

Some additional preparedness actions burn scar residents should take include:

Locate your property on the Watershed Emergency Response Webmap at

  1. Contact the National Resource Conversation Services for a free property assessment and technical advice on how to mitigate impacts to your property. Submit a request at
  2. Refer to the “Homeowner Guide to Flood Prevention and Response” at
  3. Sign up for Alert Monterey County at; or Text your zip code to 888777; or Text “MCWINTER” to 888777. 
  4. Monitor weather reports and consider your safety risk when a weather advisory is issued. 
  5. Be prepared to leave before roads, creeks and waterways are flow, or go to a neighbor on high ground or shelter in-place. 
  6. Flood Insurance: Most homeowners insurance does not cover floods from natural disasters. Make sure your home is protected. For more information on FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) at:1-877-336-2627 or visit:
  7. Have an Emergency Plan and a Disaster Kit ready to go. For more information, go to

Wildfire Hazard Planning Advisory document

From Mike Caplin:


A couple of days ago I received an email from CAL FIRE on a draft Fire Hazard Planning Advisory document from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR).  

Once finalized, the intent is for OPR to provide that document to counties and cities to advise on how planning documents and ordinances should be updated to address the threat of wildfires.

The draft is currently open for public comments until December 18, 2020.  

Here is a link to OPR’s page on it

And here is a link to download the draft document

Here is a link to an FAQ document (which recommends that comments be submitted using a form that is provided rather than in a letter)

And here is a link to the comment submission form (if you use this form (based on SurveyMonkey), be sure to check all of the boxes on the first page you may want to comment on, as you will be limited to comment only on subjects that were checked).

I have not read all of it, but from a quick look the document appears to be heavily influenced by urban bias, and very much in need of public comments from people who understand the situation in rural communities subject to wildfires.  

It is heavy on restricting development in rural communities subject to wildfires.  While it also acknowledges the need for wildfire fuel reduction work, it makes no mention of the need to amend laws to allow that work to actually take place without regulatory hindrance, leaving that to continue to fail to meaningfully address the problem, and fails to acknowledge that if people are allowed to meaningfully address the wildfire fuel accumulation problem, the problem could actually be largely solved (instead, apparently assuming the problem is insoluble).

Once in final form I expect this document could influence Monterey County’s updates to the County’s coastal plans, and its inland general plan and ordinances.

My take is that documents like this are dangerously bad policy to the extent they work to further concentrate California’s population into urban areas, which makes California more subject to biological hazards like pandemics, and to attack by weapons of mass destruction.  About 95% of California’s population is already concentrated into urban areas, which make up only about 5.3 percent of California’s land.   Table 2, page 42 in your pdf reader.