WENATCHEE, WA – The Central Washington Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team, led by Forest BAER Coordinator Molly Hanson and Greg Kuyumjian, has completed gathering data and field verifications on National Forest lands within the Diamond Creek, Uno Peak, Jack Creek and Jolly Mountain Fires, along with the Norse Fire BAER team, led by Chris Stewart.
Both team’s soil burn severity maps for ALL of these Fire-Affected National Forest lands can be viewed here: http://centralwashingtonfirerecovery.info/.
Soil Burn Severity (SBS) refers to effects of fire on soil characteristics. These include the depth of char (a downward heat pulse into the soil), loss of organic matter through consumption of duff, litter, and fine roots, altered surface color, damage to soil structure, and reduced infiltration.
According to the BAER team, burn severity can vary across the fire area depending on topography, weather conditions, fuel types, and rate of fire spread. When organic materials on the ground and within the soil structure burn, they can form a water repellent conditions on the surface and within the soil, reducing the ability of water to move downward into the soil and resulting in an increase in surface runoff.
The teams use the maps in addition to field visits to identify potential immediate threats to human life, health and safety, property, and natural and cultural resources on National Forest lands.
View a map of the Uno Peak Fire area near Lake Chelan and the town of Manson, WA.
(By Christine Eagar)