Forest Service completes soil burn severity analysis on Smith River Complex

DEL NORTE COUNTY, Calif. – The Forest Service recently completed a soil burn severity analysis on the 94,646 acre Smith River Complex.

The Smith River Burned Area Emergency Response team says the work helps determine how dangerous burned areas are after a fire.

It can predict how severe certain weather events, like flash flooding, can affect the area.

Forest service officials say luckily, over half the area burned by the smith river complex is considered low danger.

“On the smith river complex we found that around 51 percent of the burned area as low or very low soil burn severity,” said BAER team member Rob Ballard. “These areas experienced low severity fire that did not heavily impact the soil.”

Ballard says the areas with lower severity are at a lower risk of flooding compared to the severely burned areas.

He said no matter the soil burn severity, you should always monitor road conditions and avoid recreating in burned areas during severe weather.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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