[10/24/17] Central Washington Burned Area Emergency Response Team Releases Burn Severity Map

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The Central Washington Burned Area Emergency Response Team, also known as the BAER (bear) team, last week, announced its completion their assessment from several wildfires in our region, including the Uno Peak Fire…

102417 BAER Report 1 :23 “…and uno and norse.”

That’s Chelan District Ranger, Kari Grover Wier.

Soil Burn Severity refers to effects of fire on soil characteristics. These include the depth of char (a downward heat pulse into the soil), loss of organic matter through consumption of duff, litter, and fine roots, altered surface color, damage to soil structure, and reduced infiltration. Burn severity can vary across the fire area depending on topography, weather conditions, fuel types, and rate of fire spread.

Grover-Wier explains how those Soil Burn Severity maps are created…

102417 BAER Report 2 :48 “…from the satellite image.”

Those maps, which are available on the Central Washington Fire Recovery website, show the burn severity of the 9,000 acre Uno Peak Fire…

102417 BAER Report 3 :59 “…on top of the soil burned.”

When organic materials on the ground and within the soil structure burn, they can form water repellent conditions on the surface and within the soil, reducing the ability of water to move downward into the soil and resulting in an increase in surface runoff.

Such is the case, Grover-Wier says, in the Safety Harbor area…

102417 BAER Report 4 :46 “…we have in that area.”

The teams use the maps, in addition to field visits, to identify potential immediate threats to human life, health and safety, property, and natural and cultural resources on National Forest lands.