Ecological - Second Order
Recovery after fire
While many wildfires cause little damage to the land and pose few threats to fish, wildlife and people downstream, some fires create situations that require special efforts to prevent further problems after the fire. Loss of vegetation exposes soil to erosion; runoff may increase and cause flooding, sediments may move downstream and damage houses or fill reservoirs, and put endangered species and community water supplies at risk. The Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) program addresses these situations on Forest Service lands with the goal of guarding the safety of Forest visitors and employees and protecting Federal property, water quality, and critical natural or cultural resources from further damage after the fire is out. Information collected by the Forest Service BAER teams is shared with other Federal, State and local emergency response agencies so they can provide assistance to communities and private land owners who may also be affected by potential post-fire damage.