Jaroso BAER Assessment Update - July 10, 2013
Incident: Jaroso Post-Fire Response Burned Area Emergency Response
Jaroso Post-Fire Response
Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)
BAER Information: (707) 853-4243
BAER Assessment Update – July 10, 2013
PECOS, NM (July 10, 2013) – The BAER assessment team is finalizing their analysis of the burned area for the Jaroso wildfire that has burned 11,141 acres of the Pecos Wilderness area on the Santa Fe National Forest (www.fs.usda.gov/santafe/). The BAER team is working and coordinating with the Forest, tribal governments, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), state agencies, counties, communities, and other local agencies in support of their rapid BAER assessment efforts.
Recent storms have caused streams and arroyos adjacent to and downstream of the burn scar areas to flow with ash and sediment. Caution is recommended when approaching stream crossing. Do not attempt to cross flooded streams or arroyos. Be aware that low lying areas can flood from upstream storms from the fire scars.
The Pecos River, which flows south past the Jaroso burn scar and through the Tres Lagunas burn scar, has experienced ash and sediment flows the past few evenings. Black ash laden water has flowed bank to bank although no major flooding has occurred. These effects are due to rain on the Tres Lagunas burn scar. To-date, no ash or sediment flows have reached the Pecos River from the Jaroso burn scar.
Earlier this week, Forest Road 122 (Holy Ghost) was blocked by rolling rocks and tree stumps and remains closed to the public. Rolling rocks, burned stumps, and ash debris flowed over the road. Monday, July 8, Forest Service crews cleared the road and other areas around Windy Bridge, Terrero and other locations below the Jaroso and Tres Lagunas burn scars.
Jaroso BAER team hydrologists surveyed the southern portion of Pecos River, downstream from the Jaroso burn scar Tuesday morning, July 9, and shared these observations:
- No ash was observed above Terrero.
- Holy Ghost Creek is the primary source of ash and sediment to Pecos River.
Jaroso BAER team hydrologists surveyed the western area that is downstream from the Jaroso burn scar Tuesday afternoon, July 9, and shared these observations:
- Rio Medio and Rio Frijoles were flowing higher and with ash due to Tuesday’s rain event.
It is expected that more ash and debris flows will occur as high severity burn areas in the upper areas of the Pecos River and the Rio Medio and Rio Frijoles drainages receive heavy rain showers.
When the BAER team finalizes their assessment, they may recommend emergency stabilization measures and actions on National Forest System lands. Even after prescribed BAER emergency measures and treatments 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.
SPECIAL NOTE: Everyone near and downstream from the fire area should remain alert and stay updated on weather conditions that may result in heavy rains over the burn scar. Flash flooding may occur quickly during heavy rain events. Current weather and emergency notifications can be found at the National Weather Service, Albuquerque Office (http://www.srh.noaa.gov/abq/) website.