Post-Fire BAER Burned Area Emergency Response

Kevin Cooper, team leader for the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team on the Hirz and Delta Fires, describes the role of the team and who is involved and what they do.

The Shasta -Trinity National Forest is working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bureau of Land Management, local counties, California Department of Transportation, and other federal, state and local agencies to assess potential post-fire impacts to watersheds burned from the Hirz and Delta Fires.  A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has assembled and will begin work on an assessment. 

The BAER assessment team will be evaluating watershed conditions to determine the level of potential risks to human life, safety, property, natural and cultural-heritage resources. Based on the evaluation,  the team will determine if there are appropriate and effective immediate and short term emergency stabilization measures that can be implemented on federal lands to reduce potential post-fire risks to human life and safety, property, cultural-heritage and critical natural resources. 

Field surveys will be conducted using science-based models to rapidly evaluate and assess the burned area. A “Soil Burn Severity” map will be prepared to assess watershed conditions and watershed response to the wildfire. The map identifies areas of soil burn severity by categories of low/unburned, moderate, and high.

The BAER assessment team and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), work together and coordinate with other federal and local agencies, and counties to assist private landowners in preparing for increased run-off and potential flooding. Post fire assistance to private landowners is available through NRCS technical assistance, the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Additional information on this program can be found at:

To assist with fire recovery NRCS conducts field visits and prepares damage survey reports for private land adjacent to and downstream from the burned areas. NRCS uses these reports, along with the BAER team’s assessment report, to develop recommended emergency measures for businesses and private landowners to reduce the impacts to their property from potential increased water and debris flows. A Post Fire Vegetation/Erosion Workshop is being offered for the public September 25, 2018, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Shasta College Theater located at 11555 Old Oregon Trail, Redding and follow the signs.

The forest has created an InciWeb Page for 2018-2019 Post-Fire BAER information, which is a one-stop-shop for all the information the public needs to address their post-fire concerns.

Link to past year's BAER documents