White River National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
900 Grand Ave.
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602
GRIZZLY CREEK BAER SOIL BURN SEVERITY MAP RELEASED
Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) specialists recently completed their data gathering and verification field work of the Grizzly Creek Fire burn area. The Soil Burn Severity map has been finalized. Soil Burn Severity levels are Unburned, Low, Moderate, and High.
The map shows that in the Grizzly Creek Fire area, approximately 45% of the 32,370 acres analyzed by the BAER team is either unburned (12%) or low (33%) soil burn severity, while 43% sustained a moderate soil burn severity, and 12% burned at high soil burn severity.
The BAER post-fire assessment team uses 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/safety, property, and critical natural and cultural resources from storm events. The BAER team consists of Forest Service scientists and specialists who identify emergency response actions to address emergency threats to critical resources on national forest system lands.
BAER Team Leader David Callery said, “The BAER team expects erosion and run-off within much of the Grizzly Creek burned area to increase, especially where soils burned more severely, generally indicated on the map as areas of moderate or high soil burn severity.” In areas that experienced moderate to high soil burn severity, there is concern for increased post-fire run-off from steep hillslopes and resultant increases in the likelihood of post-fire soil erosion and debris flows.
The Grizzly Creek Fire soil burn severity BAER map can be downloaded at the interagency “Grizzly Creek Post-Fire BAER” InciWeb site (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7209) as a JPEG or PDF version under the “maps” tab.
A "Field Guide for Mapping Post-Fire Soil Burn Severity" can help with interpreting the map and can be found online at http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr243.pdf.
SPECIAL NOTE: Everyone near and downstream from the burned areas should remain alert and stay updated on weather conditions that may result in heavy rains over the burn scars. Flash flooding may occur quickly during heavy rain events-be prepared to take action. Current weather and emergency notifications can be found at the National Weather Service website: www.weather.gov/gjt/.