Mahongany Fire Leads the SMNRA to Close 7,200 Acres for Public Safety and Recovery Efforts

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Mahogany Fire Leads the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area to Close 7,200 Acres for Public Safety and Recovery Efforts

 

Las Vegas, July 25, 2020 – The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA) on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has assembled a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team to address safety concerns and recommend emergency treatments on National Forest System (NFS) lands recently burned during the Mahogany Fire.

 

The Mahogany Fire BAER Team consists of scientists and specialists with expertise in soils, hydrology, natural and cultural resources, engineering, and recreation. The team used field surveys, remote sensing data (e.g., satellite imagery), and models to conducted a BAER Assessment that outlines short and long-term emergency treatments needed to minimize threats to human life and mitigate unacceptable degradation to natural and cultural resources in the Mahogany Fire burned area.

 

The team identified multiple safety hazards that require the USDA Forest Service to close 7,200 acres for public safety and to allow the area to naturally recover. Additional information can be found in the attached Closure Order and map. The main hazards include those related to burned trees, including falling trees and stump holes, runoff, and the possibility of vehicles being stranded on Forest Service Roads 560 and 560A during or after rain events.

 

Although the area is likely to produce more runoff during rain events than before the fire, the risk of significant debris flows is lower than what the region experienced after the Carpenter 1 Fire. The BAER Team is collaborating with the United States Geological Survey and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help determine these risks and develop strategies to help forecast when damaging rainstorms are likely to impact the fire area.

 

Over the next year, the SMNRA will assess the need for additional resource protections and repairs to roads, trails, and other infrastructure in the Mahogany Fire area that cannot be addressed through BAER or suppression repair authorities.

For more detailed information on restrictions or closures on the SMNRA, visit:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/htnf/alerts-notices