| Forest Service BAER Team Begins Post-Fire Assessment of Cerro Pelado FireNM Fire Info

May 21, 2022

BAER inquiries: (707) 853-4243



The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) has established a Burn Area Emergency Response Team (BAER) to begin assessment of National Forest System (NFS) lands affected by the Cerro Pelado Fire , located south of the Nacimiento Mountains and west of Bandelier National Park. Monument areas.

After a large wildfire, special actions may be required to ensure public and community safety and to protect essential natural and cultural resources from post-fire events such as soil erosion and flooding. The BAER program uses ground and aerial surveys, satellite imagery and computer models to assess conditions and recommend emergency treatments to protect at-risk assets from further damage.

Information about the Cerro Pelado fire is available online at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8075/and the BAER Cerro Pelado Post-Fire assessment at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8118/.

BAER teams focus on emergency actions needed to protect human life and safety, property, and natural and cultural resources, including affected watersheds. BAER assessments identify unacceptable risks on federal lands due to post-fire threats and help land managers prepare burned areas for potential thunderstorm threats. Burned areas often experience increased soil erosion and runoff from torrential rains.

The BAER Forest Service team evaluating the Cerro Pelado fire is made up of hydrologists, soil scientists, road engineers, botanists, biologists, archaeologists, recreation specialists and fire system specialists. geographic information (GIS). The first step in the BAER assessment process is to take pre- and post-fire satellite imagery and data to produce a ground burn severity map, which will provide baseline information on altered watershed conditions and impacts. fire potential in the watershed. The BAER team assessment report will include recommended emergency stabilization treatments and actions.

The BAER team will coordinate and share information from its assessment with other federal agencies, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), and the US Geological Survey (USGS) , as well as with state agencies and local counties and municipalities. who work with private owners, landowners and adjacent and downstream businesses to prepare for the potential impacts of post-fire flooding and debris flows. The NRCS is a federal agency that has post-fire responsibilities on private lands within and downwind of burned areas.

Homes or businesses that may be affected by flooding from federal lands resulting from wildfires may be eligible for flood insurance coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Information on the NFIP is available through FEMA at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-programor www.floodsmart.gov/wildfires. Further information on flood preparedness is available at www.ready.gov/floods to www.floodsmart.gov/.

BAER SAFETY MESSAGE: Anyone near and downwind of burned areas should remain alert and aware of weather conditions that may cause heavy rains and increased water runoff. Flash flooding can happen quickly during heavy rains – be prepared to act. Current weather and emergency advisories can be found at National Weather Service website: www.weather.gov/abq/.

Information on the post-fire BAER assessment of Cerro Pelado is available at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8118/

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