Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
U.S. Forest Service
Hood River, OR 97031
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE NATIONAL SCENIC AREA
Burned Area Emergency Response Update – Eagle Creek Fire
Values at Risk Analyzed
October 2, 2017
Hood River, Oregon – The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team has been working on the Eagle Creek Fire for most of a week now. They've collected field data about the fire intensity and damage done to soils to develop the Soil Burn Severity (SBS) map. Computer models are using the SBS map to calculate critical data about increased runoff and stream flows. Maps are being created showing areas with increased likelihood of landslides.
Today the BAER Team will begin work on the critical process of synthesis. Scientists from the various disciplines will be discussing their own findings and seeing how their concerns overlap with the concerns of other scientists. They will determine the levels of threats to the “Values at Risk”, helping define where the biggest concerns exist.
Early in the BAER process, “Values at Risk” (VARs) were identified on or near the Eagle Creek Fire. These include roads, buildings, recreation sites, trails, fish hatcheries, powerlines, water quality, and cultural and historic sites. The general hazards that could affect a VAR were also listed.
For example, the Eagle Creek area has roads, the Cascade Hatchery, several historic buildings, highly-used recreation areas including trails and a campground, and Eagle Creek itself. Different scientists on the BAER Team looked at the area from the perspective of their resource, and now they are sharing information and discussing emergency work needed to minimize additional harm from post-fire events.
Many other areas around the Eagle Creek Fire have been identified as having VARs. Today the BAER Team members will evaluate which VARs face the highest risk, and what measures might be considered to reduce these risks quickly. Threats to public life and safety are the highest priority. BAER Team members will be working on plans for emergency treatments for priority risks, and calculating the costs for these treatments to request emergency funding.