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Camp Fire Restoration Project Sponsors Watershed Protection and Education Event for Bear Fire Survivors

What exactly is a compost sock, and what does it have to do with toxic run-off after a wildfire?

Survivors of the recent North Complex/Bear Fire had an opportunity to learn all about compost socks, wattles, bioremediation, erosion control, and the importance of preventing toxic ash runoff from going into soils, wells, and our shared watersheds at the Camp Fire Restoration Project’s Watershed Protection and Education event.

Local nonprofit organization The Camp Fire Restoration Project partnered up with Eco-Restoration Camps-California (ERC-CA), local fire survivor Matthew Trumm of Treetop Permaculture, and other organizations to offer this free community event on Saturday, December 5th, 2020 from 10 am until 12 noon Berry Creek Community Church, 1461 Bald Rock Rd.)

Other organizations who were on hand include the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, the Berry Creek Citizens Council, Butte Remediation, and more.

A wattle and compost sock placement demonstration took place at the event at 10:00 a.m. The demonstration covered why, when, where, and how to properly install sediment control materials. Information and experts were available throughout the morning to assist landowners with questions and concerns, potential funding opportunities and other remediation info. There was even be a tree giveaway!

As a result of fundraising efforts by Trumm, the Camp Fire Restoration Project and Eco-Restoration Camps of California, multiple Berry Creek residents whose properties were destroyed in the Bear Fire have been pre-selected by lottery to receive post-fire remediation materials, such as compost socks and wattles for their land at no cost. Partial donations also came from Filtrexx, a manufacturer of compost socks, as well as one of their distributors, K&K Construction Supply. All lottery recipients steward land which has been determined to be in a critical watershed location and has not been addressed by any government program.

Compost socks, or compost filter socks are a type of wattle with a mesh tube that is filled with compost. They are a simple technology that, when properly placed, can help filter and remediate toxic ash runoff from moving through fire-ravaged properties and into water sources such as private wells and local watersheds.

Toxic ash runoff is a primary concern when a large-scale fire, such as the Camp Fire or the North Complex Fire, rips through residential areas. Cars, homes and many of the materials people use in their daily lives are highly toxic, even more so when those things come into contact with fire. The burned artifacts left behind leach pollutants into the ground and waterways with added water–a huge concern once the rainy season gets into full swing, as the entire burn scar sits atop the vital Feather River watershed, including Lake Oroville.
Wattles and compost socks are also extremely helpful with post-fire erosion during winter rains.

In the wake of the Bear Fire, the organizers of the December 5th event hope that the gathering will assist in creating a positive, hands-on response to some of the serious concerns that linger long after the fire is out. By helping local landowners protect their land and watershed from toxic runoff and erosion through distributing remediation materials, teaching folks how to install them, and putting folks in touch with ways to get materials through state programs and insurance policies, the organizers also hope to bring attention to the idea that what happens here affects what happens downstream.

Facilitators also encouraged community members to come together and help their neighbors get this vital work accomplished, together, like an old fashioned “barn raising.”

Water is Life, and we have the opportunity to participate and steward this precious natural element for ourselves and future generations. Our community affects everyone downstream, California’s watershed, farmland, and all who live in this beautiful state. We can make a huge difference together!



Thank you so much to:

For the compost socks (including16 pallets donated) and participation in distribution.


K&K Construction who donated 2 pallets and discounted the whole order

Lowes in Chico
Wattles donated (1 pallet)

National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)

Butte County Fire Safe Council

Hedgerow Farms
for the seed donations

Ecosystem Restoration Camps
for the fundraising

Together we can do so much to protect our watershed and regenerate our ecosystems!