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2015 Central Washington BAER

Unit Information

Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, WA 98801

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This incident is no longer being updated.

2015 Central Washington Fires:
Burned Area Emergency Response

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WENATCHEE, WA - The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest assembled a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team to analyze the post-fire condition of burned watersheds and to plan emergency stabilization treatments for the following Central Washington wildfires:

The 16-member interagency team includes hydrologists, soil scientists, biologists, geologists, and geographic information specialists. Team members and other contributors include resource specialists from the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, and the State of Washington.

The BAER team compiles a report for each fire to identify immediate and emergency actions to address post-fire risks to people, property, and cultural and natural resources. The team gathers data about fire progression and burned fuels, then incorporates remote sensing imagery to compile its assessment. The team also conducts field surveys to evaluate soil burn severity within wildfire perimeters on National Forest System lands. The team develops a burn severity map and a report to identify immediate threats to people, property, and cultural and natural resources, along with recommended emergency treatments.

Wildfires can increase the risk of flooding, erosion, and sedimentation, along with debris-laden flows, reduced water quality, distribution of invasive plants, and hazards from falling trees and rocks.

BAER emergency treatment objectives may target efficient passage of water to increase protection for infrastructure and watersheds from accelerated erosion, as well as from the spread of noxious weeds within the burned areas. Objectives may also include controlled access in areas where it is not safe for the public to enter, or in areas that require recovery of natural resources without additional detrimental impacts. The team may also recommend hazard tree and rock slide removal along trails and roads, and/or the installation of safety and informational signage in fire-affected areas.

Storm-proofing for roads and trails may include removing outside berms, installing critical dips, cleaning debris from culverts, and placement of riprap along drainage routes. The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is assessing long-term recovery management that may include salvage, reforestation, and other resource restoration projects.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is cooperating with area counties, cities, and communities to evaluate threats to businesses, homes, and landowners.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeBurned Area Emergency Response