Good News on Burn Severity in Rim Fire. BAER Team Reports Only 7% High Severity Burn.

Sonora, CA…The BAER team completed the soil burn severity map for the Rim Fire. The map using burned acres as of September 13 shows that approximately 56% of the 254 926 acres within the Rim fire perimeter are either unburned or received a low-severity burn 37% sustained a burn of a moderate severity and approximately 7% burned at a high severity.

Click Map Above for Large Burn Severity Map. In Photos: Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski briefs Congressman Tom McClintock on Rim Fire burmed area, Photo of Regional Forester Randy Moore & Tuolumne County Supervisor Randy Hanvelt before tour of Rim Fire burned area. Credit: USFS-Stephanie Gomes

BAER specialists concluded that the amount of high severity burn is fairly low given time of year and comparison to other fires. The moderate and low severity burned areas are fairly high for similar reasons. These values are for the entire burn area of the Rim Fire. The soil burn severity BAER map can be downloaded at the “Rim Post-Fire BAER” InciWeb site as JPEG or PDF version at under the “maps” tab.

The Rim BAER assessment specialists continue their burned area field surveys. The BAER specialists expect to complete their field surveys by Friday September 20. The BAER Soils Scientists and Hydrologists began their analysis of their field data for modeling predicted post-fire water run-off and erosion risk levels. The BAER team is also coordinating and sharing their field data with the US Geological Survey (USGS) who are modeling for debris flow potential as well as other interested agencies and entities such as Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Tuolumne County Hetch Hetchy Water and Power and Turlock Irrigation District.

Utilizing data that was collected in the BAER field surveys meeting with the Stanislaus National Forest its stakeholders and interagency cooperators the post-fire hydrologic models potential values at risk and emergency determinations for the Rim burned area are expected to be finalized by the BAER assessment team by the end of this week.

BAER Interagency Liaison Officer Sherry Hazelhurst said “The BAER team anticipates presenting its final assessment report to the Stanislaus Forest Supervisor by Wednesday September 25 who will forward the BAER report onto the Forest Service Washington Office for its review approval and funding.” The BAER team’s analysis and report will be shared with the public.

Emergency stabilization treatments are expected to begin this week and fire suppression repair is ongoing.

As updated information becomes available it will be posted on InciWeb at

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