Following a devastating wildfire such as the
Hayman Fire, a Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) team is
dispatched to the burn area to assess damage to the land, flood danger,
and determine human health and safety conditions. BAER designs a plan to
alleviate emergency conditions by stabilizing soil, controlling water
flow, minimizing sediment and debris runoff; protecting the ecosystem
and watersheds; and mitigating significant threats to health, safety,
life and property at risk.
The Hayman BAER team
consists of professional hydrologists, soil scientists, engineers,
biologists, silviculturists, range conservationists, archaeologists, and
other resource specialists. They prescribe treatments to rehabilitate
the burn area for erosion control and flood mitigation, and to protect
people and property.
Hayman BAER treatments in this emergency phase have been aimed at
re-establishing the vegetative cover lost in the fire. Ground cover
holds the soil in place, allows absorption of water into the ground,
minimizes runoff, reproduces wildlife habitat and generally rejuvenates
the area. Often, soils in fire areas where high intensity burn occurs
become water repellent, and the hardened surface must be broken up by
scarification, or raking, as part of the treatment. THE GOOD NEWS: a
whole lot of green growth is occurring within the Hayman BAER treatment
· Application of hydro-mulch (recycled wood fiber,
grass seed, water and a binding agent) has been applied via helicopter
on 1,569 acres of heavily burned slope. This phase of the BAER project
was completed on September 15th.
· Aerial seeding is complete on over 19,835 acres.
The seed mix is an annual cereal rye mixture, which will germinate
readily and persist for two to three years to provide ground cover
until the native grasses and forbs come back.
· Approximately 6,000 acres have been treated as
part of an aerial dry mulching project (applying straw to burned
slopes via helicopter) during the month of September. Straw (the stem
of the hay, not used as a food source for animals) is applied over
previously seeded areas. The straw helps to minimize erosion during
rains, and provides necessary moisture and shade for quicker seed
germination. This project has ceased due to the end of the monsoon
season and the onset of winter. Both of these factors greatly lessen
the likelihood of excessive runoff and erosion.
· Seeding and scarification (raking the soil) has been
completed on 13,800 acres.
· Hydro-mulch is being applied by truck to 1,500
acres along Forest Roads and highways, 300 feet on either side of 25
miles of designated roads. Completion expected the first week in
· Many private landowners in the burn area have been
contacted to assess risks from adjacent National Forest lands. BAER is
working with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to formulate
and implement plans with landowners for rehabilitation.
· Culverts and stream crossings within the burn area
are being cleaned and reinforced to prevent washout along roads.
Grading and reconditioning of the roads within the fire area is
· The Lake George ICP has been demobilized, and the
grounds within and around the camp are being rehabilitated. The roads
at the Lake George Community Park have been graded and reconditioned.
The area used for the fire camp is being seeded and straw mulch is
being applied. The park has been reopened for public use.
· Treatment of noxious weeds is complete on 340
acres within and adjacent to the fire area.
· An archaeological assessment and clearance of all
areas where BAER treatment will create ground disturbance has been
achieved. Two sites within the fire area were identified as needing
protection using straw-bale check-dams, which have been completed.
· Remote Area Weather Stations (RAWS) have been
installed in and around the fire area. This will facilitate early
detection of rainfall for public evacuation and emergency warnings
The Hayman Fire BAER Team assessment began in mid-June
while the fire was burning. Efforts on the ground began July 18th, the
same date the fire was controlled. A Burned Area Report issued on July
5th assessed the burn area consisting of 99,266 acres of National Forest
land, 373 acres of State land, and 15,724 acres of private land.