Preparing for Rain Events Post-Fire

While many wildfires cause minimal damage to the land and pose few threats to the land or people downstream, some fires result in damage that requires special efforts to reduce impacts afterwards. Loss of vegetation exposes soil to erosion; water run-off may increase and cause flooding, soil and rock may move downstream.

The BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) Team is continuing its post-fire risk assessment of the Tiger Fire.  The National Weather Service is remaining in contact with the BAER Team and the fire scar has recently received high levels of precipitation that is expected to continue over the weekend.  The fire has lower levels of high and moderate burn severity however the burn scar is located on very steep slopes.  These steep slopes are highly susceptible to soil instability and possible boulder movement.  Higher levels of run-off from the fire scar is expected to travel downstream with sediment production and ash.  As a reminder, the fire area has a fire closure for public safety.

BAER Objectives:

  • Determine whether imminent post-wildfire threats to human life and safety, property, and critical natural or cultural resources on National Forest System lands exist and take immediate actions, as appropriate, to manage the unacceptable risks.
  • If emergency conditions are identified, mitigate significant threats to human life and safety, Forest Service property and other critical natural and cultural resource values.
  • Prescribe emergency response actions to stabilize and prevent unacceptable degradation to natural and cultural resources, to minimize threats to life or property resulting from the effects of a fire, or to repair/replace/construct physical improvements necessary to prevent degradation of land or resources.
  • Implement emergency response actions to help stabilize soil; control water, sediment and debris movement and potentially reduce threats to the BAER critical values identified above when an analysis shows that planned actions are likely to reduce risks substantially within the first year following containment of the fire.
  • Monitor the implementation and effectiveness of emergency treatments that were applied on National Forest System lands.

SPECIAL NOTEEveryone 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 scars.  Flash flooding may occur quickly during heavy rain events–be prepared to take action. Current weather and emergency notifications can be found at the National Weather Service website.

REMINDER:  The Tiger Fire Area Closure is still in effect on the Prescott National Forests.  Detailed information and a map are available on Inciweb at Tiger Fire Information – InciWeb the Incident Information System (nwcg.gov)

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