The 16-member interagency team includes hydrologists, soil scientists, biologists, geologists, and geographic information specialists. Team members and other contributors include resource specialists from the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geologic Survey, and State of Washington.
The BAER team gathers data about fire progression and burned fuels, and incorporates remote sensing imagery to compile its assessment. The team then conducts field surveys to evaluate soil burn severity within wildfire perimeters on National Forest System lands. The team develops a burn severity map and a report to identify immediate threats to people, property, and cultural and natural resources, along with recommended emergency treatments. Wildfires can increase the risk of flooding, erosion, and sedimentation, along with debris-laden flows, reduced water quality, distribution of invasive plants, and hazards from falling trees and rocks.
Not all National Forest lands can be treated after a fire. Time, money and terrain can limit BAER repair efforts; treatments on slopes greater than 40 percent are often ineffective. Recommended treatments will be focused on burn areas classified as high-severity and on areas that pose an immediate threat to the public and/or property on National Forest lands.
For more information call Chelan Ranger District Public Information Officer Carly Reed at 509-682-4940.