BAER engineering specialists assess Forest Service roads in Dixie burned area

In additional to threats to human life and safety, the Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response program assesses potential threats to Forest Service property and infrastructure such as roads.

BAER engineering specialists assess the effects of the fire on roads and other infrastructure within the Dixie burned area. They identify potential threats to public users of the roads and infrastructures because of the effects of the fire and potential impacts from rainstorms.

BAER engineers Jonathan Berry and Alax Parker dig out and clear a clogged culvert to increase its function to allow anticipated increased water and sediment flows to continue under the road unobstructed. Photo submitted

After assessing the roads within the Dixie burned area, the BAER engineering specialists may recommend BAER stabilization road treatments to lessen the impacts to USFS roads that will improve drainage and could include cleaning ditches, clearing culvert inlets, installing culvert risers and trash racks on road crossings at risk of plugging by sediment and woody debris. They may also recommend post-storm inspections and respond to address any threats during and after rain events.

Recently Plumas National Forest BAER specialist Alax Parker, Joseph Lumpkin from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Jonathan Berry from the Pacific Southwest Regional Office, Kris Skinner and Loren Reimer, both from the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest in Colorado, completed their field assessment in Phase 1 of the Dixie burned area.

BAER engineers evaluate the road prism and previously installed drainage features to develop emergency stabilization treatments to ensure that the expected increases in post-fire runoff and erosion don’t adversely damage USFS roads and other built assets.