BAER Assessment

Los Padres National Forest
For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrew Madsen (805) 961-5759
Twitter: @LosPadresNF

Second BAER Team Assesses Soberanes Fire Impacts

GOLETA, CA, October 17, 2016…Los Padres National Forest officials announced that a second Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team was assembled on October 12 to begin a rapid seven-day assessment of the southern half of the Soberanes Fire burned area.
BAER is an emergency program aimed at managing imminent potential risks to human life and safety, property, or critical natural and cultural resources from post-wildfire damaging events. The BAER team determines the need for emergency treatments to minimize threats to life or property, and to stabilize and prevent unacceptable degradation to natural and cultural resources resulting from the effects of the fire.

While many wildfires cause little damage to the land and pose few threats to fish, wildlife and downstream communities, some fires create situations that require special efforts to mitigate post-fire impacts to natural resources and adjacent residents. The purpose of the BAER team is to assess and prevent damage from rain events on burned areas, not repair damage from either flames or flood after it occurs.

The BAER team’s role will be to assess watersheds on all lands, then inventory values at risk and determine the need for emergency measures and treatments on National Forest lands. The team will assess the watersheds for post-fire rain-related impacts such as potential flooding, debris flow, and increased soil erosion.

The U.S. Forest Service team includes the following specialists: wildlife biologists, archeologists, engineers, botanists, trails specialists, soil scientists, hydrologists, and recreation personnel.

The Soberanes Fire started on July 22 as a result of an illegal campfire and burned 132,127 acres. It was the biggest wildfire of the season in California and is currently 100 percent contained as of October 12. The fire burned on federal, state and private lands in Monterey County.
Jennifer Gray
Visitor Information Assistant
Public Affairs
Forest Service
Los Padres National Forest
Supervisor’s Office
p: 805-961-5795