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Rainy season carries potential of flash flooding to fire scarred areas in the Northstate

Area in northern Shasta County showing the aftermath of the Carr Fire.

The Northstate has had little to no rain since the Carr Fire incinerated 229,651 acres in July and August. A report released by the Burned Area Emergency Response Team (B.A.E.R.) shows the rainy season could be devastating.

The B.A.E.R. Team, deployed August 12, identified potential threats to life, property, and critical natural and cultural resources, all of which could see severe flooding, debris flows, erosion. Their findings establish how the burn severity will play a crucial factor in the recovery process and the likelihood of flooding.

The 402 page report shows more than 11,000 acres with a high soil burn severity. 90,000 acres were moderately burned and nearly 114,000 acres, about 50%, have a low soil burn. Only 6% of the acreage burned during the Carr Fire is reported as "un-burned soil."

High and moderate soil burn severity have the greatest impact to watershed response.

The most significant factor leading to emergency watershed conditions is loss of ground cover, which leads to erosion and ultimately flash flooding.

There were 19 watersheds listed in the B.A.E.R. report.

The Brandy Creek watershed had 6,257 acres burned within the Carr Fire which represents almost the entire watershed.

The entire Boulder Creek, Whiskey Creek, Rock Creek, Salt Creek and Middle Creek watersheds were burnt as well.

With lives and homes at risk, the report also outlines the possible fate of local wildlife.

Multiple creeks were identified for runoff that feed into the Trinity River. These streams are important for the recovery of Northern California Coast COHO Salmon.

In the Sacramento River there are concerns for recovery of Winter Run Chinook and Spring Run Chinook Salmon.

The full B.A.E.R. report is listed here.

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