USFS Burned Area Response Team Assesses Beaver Creek Fire Damage

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A Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has assembled in Hailey to assess the recent Beaver Creek wildfire that burned 114,000 acres on the Ketchum Ranger District in the Sawtooth National Forest.

The BAER team is comprised of specialists who conduct rapid watershed assessments and analyses. They can include experts ranging from soil scientists, hydrologists, geologists and biologists to geographic information system specialists, archaeologists and botanists.

The team is working with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Bureau of Land Management, state agencies, counties and cities in the assessment. It’s currently determining the areas most severely damaged by the recent fire.

After establishing if emergency conditions exist, the team recommends responses such as rapid seeding, enlarging culverts or removing structures that could block water flow, trap sediment or impact water quality. The team can recommend certain areas be posted with warning signs or closures to the public.

The BAER team leader expects the final assessment to be prepared by Sept. 13. For more information, visit inciweb.