A considerable investment in post-fire research over the past decade has improved our understanding of the effects of wildfire. Loss of vegetation exposes soil to erosion, runoff may increase and cause flooding, sediments may move downstream and damage houses or fill reservoirs, and put endangered species and community water supplies at risk. Using this new knowledge, the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) program has developed several tools to assist land managers with post-wildfire assessment and treatment decisions.
ERMiT and Batch ERMiT are web-based modeling tools optimized to estimate erosion on burned and recovering forest, range, and chaparral lands with and without the application of erosion mitigation treatments (mulch, erosion-barriers, and seeding).
The Peak Flow Calculator estimates post-fire peak flow for burned areas using Curve Number technology, given storm runoff (Q) and storm precipitation (P) derived from ERMiT.
The Values-At-Risk (VAR) Calculation Tool is a spreadsheet for calculating resource valuation and cost–benefit analysis. This values-at-risk assessment process is in support of the VAR valuation framework developed for postfire assessment teams.
BAER Burned Area Reports DB is a searchable database containing post-fire assessment information from four decades of USDA Forest Service Burned Area Reports. Information has been compiled from approximately 1500 reports and other available information.