Six Rivers National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1330 Bayshore Way
Eureka, CA 95501
BAER teams begin post-fire assessment of Red Salmon Complex
YREKA, Calif. – A Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has been established to assess the burned area of the Red Salmon Complex. They will be coordinating with the Six Rivers, Klamath, and Shasta-Trinity National Forests as well as the Bureau of Land Management, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Weather Service, US Geological Survey, Hoopa Valley Tribe, Karuk Tribe, Yurok Tribe, Siskiyou County, Humboldt County, Trinity County, and other federal, state and local agencies as they assess potential post-fire impacts to the burned watersheds.
BAER surveys are rapid assessments that evaluate the burned area to identify watersheds having increased potential for post-fire flooding, sediment flows, falling trees, and rockslides. The BAER survey assists land managers in preparing the burned area for rainstorms and wind events. The teams focus on potential emergency impacts to life, and safety on National Forest System (NFS) lands and share the team’s findings with the responsible agencies, adjacent landowners and managers.
BAER teams typically consist of scientists and specialists including hydrologists, geologists, soil scientists, road engineers, botanists, fisheries biologists, wildlife biologists, recreation specialists, archeologists and geographic information specialists (GIS). During their burned area surveys, BAER teams collect data, analyzing it through GIS and computer models. BAER teams then present their findings along with recommended BAER emergency response actions in a BAER assessment report.
BAER teams utilize satellite imagery and specialist data to analyze and produce a map that shows the levels of soil burn severity on the watersheds. This is the first step in assessing potential watershed impacts from wildfires to any NFS values that may be at-risk from potential increased flooding, sedimentation, debris flows and rockslides. The BAER team assessment report describes threats associated with the burned area’s post-fire conditions along with recommended emergency stabilization measures and actions. BAER emergency response efforts are focused on the protection of human life, safety and property, as well as critical cultural and natural resource values such as the water quality of streams and wetlands on NFS lands.
The BAER team will produce and share soil burn severity and potential debris flow hazard maps for the burned area. BAER reports are shared with interagency cooperators who work with private home and other landowners to prepare for potential post-fire flooding and debris-flow impacts. Homes or businesses that could be impacted by flooding from federal land that resulted from wildfires may be eligible for flood insurance coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Information about NFIP is available through FEMA at www.floodsmart.gov/.
Red Salmon Post-Fire BAER Assessment information is available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7253/.
SAFETY MESSAGE: 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 areas. Flash flooding may occur quickly during heavy rain events—be prepared to take action! Current weather and emergency notifications can be found on National Weather Service websites: www.weather.gov/sto/, and www.weather.gov/eka/.