Utah Division Forestry Fire State Lands
1594 W North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) specialists recently completed their data gathering and verification field work of the Dollar Ridge Fire burn area and finalized its Soil Burn Severity map. Soil burn severity levels are Unburned / Very Low, Low, Moderate, and High.
The map shows that in the fire area, approximately 69% of the 59,897 acres analyzed by the BAER team within the Dollar Ridge Fire is considered unburned (22%) or low (47%) soil burn severity, while 28% sustained a moderate soil burn severity, and only 3% burned at a high soil burn severity.
BAER post-fire assessment teams use the soil burn severity data to identify if there are areas of concern where increased soil erosion, accelerated surface water run-off, and debris flows have the potential to impact human life and safety, property, and critical natural and cultural resources from rain events. Forest Service BAER teams typically consist of scientists and specialists that consider emergency stabilization options for those critical resources.
Significant increases in the rates of erosion and run-off are expected from steep hillslopes with high and moderate soil burn severity. Erosion and run-off from unburned and low soil burn severity areas will not be significantly greater as a result of the fire. However, areas located downstream from moderate and high soil burn severity, even unburned areas, will likely experience increased rates of erosion, debris flows, and surface run-off due to cumulative effects.
GIS data representing the soil burn severity can be found on the Forest Service Geospatial Technology and Applications Center website at https://fsapps.nwcg.gov/afm/baer/download.php.