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Three Rivers Post-Fire BAER

Unit Information

Lincoln National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3463 Las Palomas
Alamogordo, NM 88310

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BAER begins for Three Rivers Fire on Lincoln National Forest

Three Rivers Post-Fire BAER Burned Area Emergency Response
News – 5/13/2021

A Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) team was established this week by the Lincoln National Forest to begin a burned area assessment of the Three Rivers Fire.  As information is available, it will be posted on this Three Rivers Post-fire BAER InciWeb page. 
BAER surveys are rapid assessments that evaluate the burned area to identify watersheds that may have increased potential for post-fire flooding, erosion, debris flows and rockslides.  Since the BAER survey is a rapid assessment to assist land managers to prepare the burned area for future rain events, the team will initially focus on potential emergency impacts to life and safety on National Forest System lands.  The team will then share its findings with partner agencies.
BAER teams consist of scientists and specialists, including hydrologists, soil scientists, engineers, botanists, biologists, archeologists and more.  These teams collect data during their burned area surveys and present their findings and recommended stabilization treatments or actions in a BAER assessment report.  For additional information on what BAER is, check the announcement section of this InciWeb page.
BAER teams utilize satellite imagery which is then validated on the ground and adjusted where needed by soil specialists to produce a map that shows the level of soil burn severity on the watersheds.  Changes in soil properties are the primary cause of increased post-fire erosion, flooding and debris flow potential.  This is the first step in assessing potential watershed impacts from the wildfire to any values that may be at risk from potential increased flooding, sedimentation, debris flows and rockslides.  BAER emergency response efforts are focused on the protection of human life, safety and property, as well as critical cultural and natural resources such as the water quality of streams on National Forest System lands. 
BAER reports are shared with interagency cooperators who work to identify and prepare for potential post-fire flooding and debris flow impacts. 
This is just one step of recovery. Initially, BAER reports are shared with interagency cooperators who work to identify and prepare for potential post-fire flooding and debris flow impacts. The Lincoln National Forest will continue to work with cooperators in the area to look at longer-term recovery needs following the fire. 
SAFETY MESSAGE:  Everyone near and downstream from the burned area should remain alert and stay updated on weather conditions that may result in heavy rains over burn scars.  Flash flooding may occur quickly during heavy rain events.  Be prepared to take action.