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McKinney Post-Fire BAER

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Unit Information

1711 S. Main St 
Yreka, 
96097 
1711 S. Main St 
Yreka, 
96097 

Incident Contacts

  • BAER Information
    Phone:
    707-853-4243
    Hours:
    8am-8pm

BAER Team Begins Post-Fire Assessment of McKinney & Yeti Fires

McKinney Post-Fire BAER
News - 08/20/2022

FOREST SERVICE BAER TEAM BEGINS POST-FIRE ASSESSMENT OF MCKINNEY AND YETI FIRES

A Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has been established by the Klamath National Forest (NF) to begin a post-fire burned area assessment of the McKinney and Yeti fires that recently burned on Forest Service federal lands, and private lands. The BAER team leaders are Brad Rust, Forest Service Soil Scientist, and Brian Hansen, Forest Service Recreation Officer. The State of California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will assess the impacts from the fires on the Klamath River aquatic species. Forest Service BAER team assessments typically take approximately two weeks to complete.

In addition to the CDFW, the BAER team coordinates with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), National Weather Service (NWS), US Geological Survey (USGS), and other federal, state, and local agencies as they assess potential post-fire impacts to the burned watersheds.

BAER surveys are rapid assessments that evaluate the burned area to identify watersheds having increased potential for post-fire flooding, sediment flows and rockslides, and assist land managers to prepare the burned area for seasonal thunder cell storms. The team focus is on potential emergency impacts to life and safety on federal land. They also model hydrologic response throughout the burned area and share the team’s findings with the affected downstream agencies.

BAER teams may consist of scientists and specialists including hydrologists, geologists, soil scientists, road engineers, botanists, biologists, archeologists, and geographic information specialists. BAER teams collect field data during their burned area surveys to analyze through GIS and computer models and present their findings along with recommended BAER emergency stabilization treatments in a BAER assessment report.

BAER teams utilize satellite imagery and specialist data to analyze and produce a runoff map that shows the levels of hydrological potential flows during rain events. This is the first step in assessing potential watershed impacts from wildfires to any federal values that may be at-risk from potential increased flooding, sedimentation, debris flows, and rockslides. BAER teams produce a report that describes potential threats associated with the burned area’s post-fire conditions and sometimes include recommended emergency stabilization measures and actions. BAER emergency response efforts are focused on the protection of human life, safety, and property, as well as critical cultural and natural resource values such as the water quality of streams and wetlands on federal lands.

BAER reports are shared with interagency cooperators such as California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), NRCS, and Siskiyou County who work with downstream private home and landowners to prepare for potential post-fire flooding and debris flow impacts. Homes or businesses that could be impacted by flooding from federal land that resulted from wildfires may be eligible for flood insurance coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Information about NFIP is available through FEMA at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program, or www.floodsmart.gov/wildfires. Other flood preparedness information is available at www.ready.gov/floods at www.floodsmart.gov/.

BAER SAFETY MESSAGEEveryone near and downstream from the burned areas should remain alert and stay updated on weather conditions that may result in heavy rains and increased water runoff. Flash flooding may occur quickly during heavy rain events – be prepared to act. Current weather and emergency notifications can be found at the National Weather Service websites: https://www.weather.gov/eka/  and www.weather.gov/sto/.