Three Phases of Wildfire Recovery


There are three phases of recovery following wildfires on federal lands: 

  • Fire Suppression Repair 
  • Emergency Stabilization-Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) 
  • Long-Term Recovery and Restoration 
  • Fire Suppression Repair is a series of immediate post-fire actions taken to repair damages and minimize potential soil erosion and impacts resulting from fire suppression activities and usually begins before the fire is contained, and before the demobilization of an Incident Management Team. This work repairs the hand and dozer fire lines, roads, trails, staging areas, safety zones, and drop points used during fire suppression efforts. 
  • Emergency Stabilization-Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) is a rapid assessment of burned watersheds by a BAER team to identify imminent post-wildfire threats to human life and safety, property, and critical natural or cultural resources on National Forest System lands and take immediate actions to implement emergency stabilization measures before the first post-fire damaging events. Fires result in loss of vegetation, exposure of soil to erosion, and increased water runoff that may lead to flooding, increased sediment, debris flows, and damage to critical natural and cultural resources. BAER actions such as: mulching, seeding, installation of erosion and water run-off control structures, temporary barriers to protect recovering areas, and installation of warning signs may be implemented. BAER work may also replace safety related facilities; remove safety hazards; prevent permanent loss of habitat for threatened and endangered species; prevent the spread of noxious weeds, and protect critical cultural resources. 
  • Long-Term Recovery and Restoration utilizes non-emergency actions to improve fire-damaged lands that are unlikely to recover naturally and to repair or replace facilities damaged by the fire that are not critical to life and safety. This phase may include restoring burned habitat, reforestation, other planting or seeding, monitoring fire effects, replacing burned fences, interpreting cultural sites, treating noxious weed infestations, and installing interpretive signs. (

6 thoughts on “Three Phases of Wildfire Recovery

  1. Salsipuedes Ranch with assistance of Chumash Site protectors no dozers were allowed to cross Salsipuedes because they destroy so much. We must embrace the fire practices of the ancient ones using fire not having fire use us! Aho

  2. We must embrace the ancient ones use of fire. Salsipuedes prevailed because it is in a defensible place.
    Dozers do irreparable destruction to the land. Dozers were not allowed to pass thru Salsipuedes thanks to Chumash site protectors.

  3. I am hopeful that the USFS, which surrounds us both, is taking notice that what has worked in the past is the only way to prevent these mega fires we experienced this year, and that they will look to the ancient ones for the lessons that are needed today. Thank you for your follow and your comments, both on this post and on the column of 9/30 post.

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