FOREST RESOURCES BURNED AREA ASSESSMENT
Mandatory Consultation Requirements (baseline data sources). Consultation and
evaluation of forest resources impacted by wildland fire. As a minimum, the following sources are consulted in obtaining
baseline information for developing resource issues, field inventory priorities, emergency stabilization and burned area rehabilitation recommendations:
- Local resource professionals and organizations with management responsibilities including: agency foresters, botanists, resource specialists, Native Plant Society members, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), and researchers.
- Resource Management Plans: integrated resource management plans, forest management plans, soil surveys, vegetation inventories, aerial photographs, spectral imagery, and geographic information system database, research projects.
- Literature: historical documents including management plans, study plots, published text describing plant community and habitat types, and documentation of past management practices.
Data Requirements: Following cursory aerial reconnaissance and the
identification of forest resources affected, field inventories can be conducted to identify, map and gather data on fire related impacts related
- Acreage burned and forest areas impacted by fire.
- Mapped locations of damaged trees which may pose a threat to public safety
or improvements. Individual hazard trees will be evaluated according to the
National Park Service hazard tree rating system.
- Mapped locations of visually undesirable concentrations of fire-related slash.
Management Considerations: The Burned Area Response Specialist (BAES) is required to evaluate values at
risk and make emergency stabilization and management recommendations within the
assessment report. The extent to which these considerations are addressed will
be determined by the size and complexity of the incident, agency policy and
objectives, and the agency's ability to provide in-house expertise. Management
considerations may include:
- Alternative methods for mitigating tree hazards, public safety and effects on other resources. Determine costs of recommended treatments, as well as equipment and labor sources.
- Specify methods for contour falling of trees to stabilize slopes where determined necessary. Identify costs and sources of labor and equipment.
In areas of high tree mortality, assess anticipated vegetative response of shrubs and trees. Develop prescriptions for artificial regeneration as determined necessary to meet agency direction. Assess the effects of any proposed slope stabilization seeding on anticipated natural or artificial regeneration.
- Make observations of pre-fire forest health (tree condition, disease levels), and predict post-fire trends.
- Assess the fire's effects on populations of undesirable shrubs and trees, particularly exotic species. Develop alternative methods of controlling their spread if provided in agency direction. Determine costs of recommended treatments.
Specific Products: After completing data acquisition and field inventories,
the Forester prepares a written analysis report to include:
- Major issues for emergency stabilization considerations
- Emergency stabilization
- Burned area rehabilitation
- Documentation of observations
- Background information describing the fire area, burn severity acreage, impacted forested areas
- Reconnaissance methodology and results:
- Survey methods and areas inventoried
- Description of impacts to forest resources including anticipated
- Public use areas threatened by hazard trees (roads, trails, camp grounds, picnic areas, etc.)
- Locations of areas which may require artificial regeneration
- Other observations
- Recommendations for hazard tree removal, including designation of hazard trees (if approved by responsible official)
- Contour falling specifications
- Recommendations for slash treatment to mitigate visual effects
- Prescriptions for any necessary artificial regeneration
- Secondary burned area assessment observations
- Delayed tree mortality
- Post-fire buildup of populations of damaging forest insects
- Natural regeneration of trees and shrubs in intensely burned areas
- Potential survival success of artificially regenerated areas
- Potential spread of undesirable and exotic shrubs and trees
- Effectiveness of contour falling treatment
- Literature Reviewed
- Affected Forest Resources and Emergency Stabilization Measures
- Hazard Trees
- Treatment Specifications
- Describe in detail emergency stabilization needs and site locations (e.g. on section A of the coyote trail 85 trees between 6 and 12 inches diameter breast height will be felled)
- Describe methods of accomplishing specified treatments. This section must be detailed enough to justify emergency stabilization needs and support cost estimates (e.g. all 6 inch DBH trees will be contoured felled on east slope of Coyote Ridge).
- Provide detailed cost estimates for all prescribed rehabilitation measures supported by:
- Estimates obtained from 2-3 independent contractual sources
- Documented cost figures for similar project work obtained from local agency sources
- Estimates based upon government wage rates and material costs
- Treatment effectiveness monitoring specifications