Jaroso BAER Assessment Update - July 5, 2013
Incident: Jaroso Post-Fire Response Burned Area Emergency Response
BAER Assessment Update – July 5, 2013
PECOS, NM (July 5, 2013) – On July 3, a Forest Service BAER assessment team assembled to begin their analysis for the recent Jaroso wildfire that burned approximately 11,000 acres of the Pecos Wilderness area on the Santa Fe National Forest (www.fs.usda.gov/santafe/).
BAER assessment teams are comprised of specialists that are highly experienced in conducting rapid watershed assessments and analyses and may include soil scientists, hydrologists, geologists, biologists, geographic information system specialists, archeologists, botanists, silviculturists, and civil engineers.
The BAER team is working for the Santa Fe National Forest and coordinating with tribal governments, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), state agencies, counties, communities, and other local agencies in support of their rapid BAER assessment efforts.
After the BAER assessment report is finalized, it will be shared with affected local, county, state, tribal and other federal agencies.
If the BAER assessment team determines that emergency conditions exist, a variety of emergency response measures could be recommended. Specialists may recommend seeding and mulching, enlarging or unplugging culverts, and removing structures that could block water flow, trap sediment, or impact water quality. The team may also recommend that certain areas be posted with warning signs, barriers, and/or closures to limit access to hazardous areas. Some areas within the fire may not be suitable for these actions due to many factors such as the steepness of the slope, certain types of soils, and access to the area.
One of the most effective BAER emergency response actions is to continue interagency coordination with local cooperators.
Even after prescribed emergency measures are implemented to minimize the post-fire risks, the burned area may still pose a risk to adjacent areas from potential mudflows and flash flooding. Residents living near burned areas need to monitor weather reports and public safety bulletins, and be aware of current weather conditions and forecasts.
On July 4, the Jaroso BAER assessment team flew over the burned area and anticipates they will produce an initial Burn Severity map by Friday evening, July 5. The Burn Severity map will be posted on the Jaroso Post-Fire Response InciWeb page at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3491/.