Soil Burn Severity Map Completed for Taylor/Klondike Fire: Over 75% Considered Low or Unburned

Contact(s): Andy Lyon, Taylor/Klondike BAER Public Information Officer: (971) 264-3310

Southwest OR – A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team working on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has completed a map showing the “soil burn severity” of the Taylor Creek and Klondike wildfires. The analysis that went into the map indicates most of the acreage was either unburned or burned at a low level of severity. The BAER Team is made up of soil scientists, hydrologists and other specialists who do a rapid assessment of US Forest Service System lands. The team will then recommend emergency actions designed to protect public safety and Forest Service-owned infrastructure, watersheds, cultural resources and critical wildlife and fisheries habitat. BAER work happens during the first year after a fire in order to take action before severe storms occur.

“We are now in the process of determining what emergency actions to recommend,” says Kyle Wright, BAER Team Leader. “Those actions are not steps to repair damage from the fire, but rather to prevent further and costlier damage during winter storms,” said Wright, a Forest Service Hydrologist.

Of the 211,801 acres within the fire perimeter, only 2 percent is estimated as being high severity; 20 percent is considered moderate; 49 percent low, and over 62-thousand acres, or 29 percent is very low severity or unburned.

Soil scientists and other BAER team members have been assessing conditions on the ground for the past week. Those on-the-ground observations, along with aerial reconnaissance flights, are used to validate and modify a satellite-generated image to a ground-verified soil burn severity map. The team will use this soil burn severity map to look at post-fire watershed response, and debris flow risk.

There are three phases of recovery following wildfires on federal lands: fire suppression repair, BAER and long-term recovery and restoration. BAER is the second phase and assessments are completed on fires that are 500 acres or larger.

For more information and to see a copy of the soil burn severity map, visit the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF BAER webpage at and scroll down until you see the “Features” section.