Dan Dallas of the Rio Grande National Forest requested a BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) team “to identify imminent post-wildfire threats to human life and safety, property, and critical natural or cultural resources on National Forest System lands and take immediate actions, as appropriate, to manage unacceptable risks.” The purpose of a BAER Team assessment is to determine critical values and threats, risk evaluation and emergency determination, response action prescription and proposals, and documentation and funding requests.
The report prepared by a BAER team is an emergency stabilization document that specifies treatments created by an interdisciplinary team of specialists during or immediately after the containment of a wildfire event. Specialists such as hydrologists, rangeland management specialists, biologists, archaeologists, and soil scientists as well as other potential professionals are assigned to prepare a BAER report. The effectiveness of the implementation of a BAER report relies on USDA Forest Service access to funding and to community involvement and leverage of additional funds and support.
Management Objectives for Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)
- Implement Communication Plan for emergency preparedness.
- Reduce the threat of downstream flooding, erosion, and debris movement.
- Reduce the impacts to soil productivity and hydrological function.
- Reduce the threat of hazards trees for public safety, road access and work crews.
- Reduce the threat to critical wildlife habitats and populations.
- Implement mitigation efforts to protect remaining USDA Forest Service infrastructure.
- Encourage private landowners to work with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to prepare for and mitigate indirect fire effects such as flooding and debris flows.