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Burned Area Emergency Response Incident Management

Resources at risk of a mud flow.Emergency stabilization is emergency planned actions within one year of a wildland fire to stabilize and prevent further degradation to natural and cultural resources, to minimize threats to life or property resulting from the effects of a fire or to repair/replace/construct physical improvement necessary to prevent degradation of land or resources. Bureaus have the responsibility to prepare for normal year activity by developing local and regional/state response resources and/or teams and equipment and supply caches.

The necessity to address emergency stabilization measures in a prompt and effective nature requires a burned area emergency response (BAER). BAER can be as simple or as complex (i.e., Rodeo-Chediski fire) as it needs to be. A simple BAER project can be easily addressed by the local unit, but more complex projects may require regional/state or national assistance.

BAER includes preparedness, planning, training, qualifications, mobilization, organization, implementation, and safety. BAER includes both standard fire and BAER specific incident management operational and business practices.

BAER operates within the National Interagency Incident Management System (NIIMS) structure and a standing or ad hoc team of technical specialists (hydrologists, rangeland management specialists, biologists, soil scientists, etc.) is usually assigned to assess what if any emergency stabilization treatments are needed and prepare a Burned Area Emergency Response (emergency stabilization) plan. Although the damage caused by wildland fire suppression (i.e., dozer line rehabilitation) is the responsibility of the suppressing incident management team, the BAER team is frequently asked for suppression activity damage repair recommendations.

There are two standing DOI National Interagency BAER teams available to assist field units plan for immediate post wildfire site stabilization on only the most complex incidents. Criteria have been developed to determine the appropriate team for the incident. When an incident doesn't justify a National Interagency BAER Team, individual BAER technical specialists can be resource ordered to suppliment the local unit's resource specialist.

 

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