Modoc National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
225 W. 8th St Alturas California 96101
Alturas, CA 96101
All wildfires on the Modoc National Forest are contained at this time. Burned Area Emergency Response is underway.
The Cove Fire near Adin was last reported at 30,886.5 and the Steele Fire east of Clear Lake near the Oregon border 45,690.4 acres. The Parker 2 Fire was last reported at 7,697 acres. All three fires are fully contained with dedicated Type Four Incident Management Organizations assigned to each.
Fire-safety Public Use Restrictions and three fire-area closure orders remain in effect and are found on the internet at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/modoc/alerts-notices.
Some emergency repairs have already occurred. Last week a joint team of fire suppression personnel, contractors and forest employees quickly installed a temporary bridge to bypass the Middle Fork Parker Creek Bridge, which was damaged by the Parker 2 Fire. This valuable portable bridge was provided by the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The new structure spans 45 feet and will allow highway-legal loads (up to 80,000 pounds with proper axle spacing) to safely cross the creek until a more-permanent solution is developed.
The BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) team has begun evaluating possible risks to human life and safety, property and critical natural and cultural resources due to potential damaging events created by or as a result of recent wildfires. The team is comprised of specialists in soils, hydrology, geology, fisheries, engineering, GIS mapping, archaeology and botany.
Specialists use soil burn severity maps to determine moderate or high-priority areas for possible short-term treatment. BAER is considered an emergency just like wildfire. A typical BAER team has only seven days after containment to complete reports for forest and regional leadership approval. Emergency funding for treatments assessed by the team and approved by the region will then be available and projects implemented prior to the onset of storms that could cause damage.
Concerns may be potential watershed, infrastructure and fisheries damage from winter storms and spring runoff. High-risk infrastructure such as roads and culverts have the potential to fail in a rain on snow or heavy rain event.
The second phase of BAER is implementation of the recommended and approved treatments. “The team assesses fire damage related to values at risk,” said Modoc BAER team member Cathy Carlock. “We recommend treatments to lessen winter storm damage to those values. Heavy rain on saturated soils burned by the fire can cause flash floods and debris flows pretty quickly. BAER treatments are temporary in nature and give the forest time to recommend and implement more permanent fixes.”