Burned Area Emergency Response Team assessing condition of watersheds burned in Woodbury Fire

Active burning in Rough Canyon on June 28. (Burned Area Emergency Response)

A Burned Area Emergency Response team has been working to assess the condition of the watersheds that were burned in the Woodbury Fire.

The Woodbury Fire started 5 miles northwest of Superior on June 8 and is now 123,875 acres and 90% contained, according to the Incident Information System.

Burned Area Emergency Response team members at the Woodbury Fire. (inciweb.nwcg.gov)

The BAER team’s program is designed to identify and manage potential risks to resources on National Forest System lands and reduce these threats through appropriate emergency measures to protect human life and safety, property, and critical natural or cultural resources, according to a release from the Arizona Emergency Information Network.

“The BAER team includes hydrologists, soil scientists, archaeologists, wildlife biologists, and other specialists whose work begins with days of field data collection,” according to the release.

“The next phase involved completing a values-at-risk assessment for the Woodbury Fire. This assessment will determine and prioritize work within the fire areas fifteen sub-watersheds. The next phase of work will involve modeling and analyzing data work before completing a report that will be given to Forest Service officials,” the release states.

Wildfire increases the potential for post-fire flooding, soil erosion, and debris flows that could impact recreational areas, homes, structures, roads, and other infrastructure within, adjacent to, and downstream from burned areas. Summer monsoon rains can bring thunderstorms and heavy rain in a short time period, and produce flash floods, according to the release.

Residents and visitors should remain alert to possible flooding when traveling along roads downstream from the burned areas on the forest. Everyone near and downstream from the Woodbury Fire burned area should remain alert and stay updated on weather conditions that may result in heavy rains over the area.

Flash flooding could occur quickly during heavy rain events. Current weather and emergency notifications can be found at the National Weather Service, Phoenix website at weather.gov/psr.

The Arizona Emergency Information Network is the state’s official source for emergency updates, preparedness advice and hazards information, and related resources, according to ein.az.gov.

The Woodbury Fire information e-mail address is 2019.woodbury@firenet.gov and the website is inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6382. For information about evacuations, shelters, livestock and pet shelters call 928-402-8888.

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