Draft BAER report released

A draft of the BAER report was released a few days ago. You can find the entire report here:

Click to access 090508_2520_3a_basin2500-8_redacted.pdf

Here are a few highlights:

“The potential for increased stream flows leading to flooding and debris flows is high to very high, particularly above some of the slopes above Highway 1 and structures near Big Sur and the Tassajara Zen Center. ”

“Given the predicted effects of the fire, all of the high value resources listed above are at serious risk for severe consequences should a storm of any significance rain on the burned area within the next three years. Impacts would occur from a combination of increases in flood flows, sediment yield, landslides and debris flows.”

“The hillslopes are generally too steep for soil treatments such as hydromulching to be effective.”

“Recommended treatments to help protect human life and safety include participating in the
establishment of an early alert system, storm patrols, and working with local agencies to help at-risk
communities be prepared in the event of a storm.”

“Additionally, the potential loss of access along Highway 1 may occur from flooding and debris flows from Pheneger Creek in the north down to Rat Creek in the south.”

“…there are no land treatments (hillslope treatments) which could be effectively implemented to provide soil cover and minimize or reduce the threat.”

“The trail system in the burned area should be closed until after the first winter following the fire. Conditions following the first winter should be evaluated to judge if additional time is needed to
provide for user safety or for protection of the trails at risk.”

“he BAER team recommends that the Los Padres National Forest area within the burned perimeter be closed to public access from the present time until it is determined by the Monterey District and Supervisors Office staff that conditions are safe enough to open this area. Hazards include trees and limbs falling, flooding, washout of trails, and dry ravel covering trails. Areas where the public may access hazardous areas from outside of this closure should also be analysed and, if necessary, posted with warning or closure signs.”

(Paraphrased) Trail inspectors will work through out the winter, assessing and correcting damage and while there, will be looking for signs of illegal entry and contacting law enforcement re same.