Sardinas Canyon Fire BAER Update July 7, 2018

Location: Camino Real Ranger District, Carson National Forest

Although the initial threat of the Sardinas Canyon has passed, post-fire conditions are being assessed to recommend preventive treatments and emergency stabilization for fire related problems such as soil erosion from loss of vegetation; flooding from increased runoff; and increased sedimentation downstream which could have the potential to impact private property and public safety.  This assessment is called a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER).

A BAER Team is currently gathering information to evaluate potential threats to public safety, life, and National Federal System Property associated with post-fire conditions.  The Team will make recommendations to determine critical values and threats, propose specific mitigation measures regarding these threats, and develop funding requests to accomplish the needed tasks. It is important that this process happens quickly due to the pending onset of monsoonal thunderstorms.

The BAER Team is evaluating areas where vegetation has been removed to determine effective mitigation measures.  These measures may include installing road closure gates, warning signs, and clearing of floatable debris from stream channels within the fire scar. The conditions of road culverts are also being assessed to assure that they are clear.  Possible culvert removal may be necessary if they cannot accommodate increased flows.  These measures are intended to protect human life and safety and efficiently convey flood waters downstream.  A monitoring process will also be developed to determine the effectiveness of implemented treatments.

Downstream of the fire scar, residents should expect to see water quality impacts to the Rio Pueblo. Finer sediment and ash will discolor stream flow and uses of water may be affected. Residents are encouraged to remain vigilant of changing conditions, be aware of storm activity and flood risk issued by the National Weather Service.

Closures: The Carson National Forest is closed, prohibiting public access to the forest (with the exception of the Jicarilla Ranger District, Eagle Rock Lake and Mallette Park on the Questa Ranger District will remain open during daylight hours).  Detailed information regarding this closure may be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/carson.

For updates please see the Carson National Forest Facebook page at http://facebook.com/CarsonNF or Twitter at https://twitter.com/CarsonNF.

Sardinas Canyon Fire Info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5868/

Email: sardinascanyonfireinfo@gmail.com

Public Line: (575) 737-8784 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

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