Riverside Fire Soil Burn Severity Data Finalized

SANDY, OR, October 5, 2020 – Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) specialists from the U.S. Forest Service finalized the Soil Burn Severity map for the 137,792-acre Riverside Fire. Soil burn severity is classified into 4 levels: unburned, low, moderate and high.

BAER soil scientists used the burned area reflectance classification satellite image product to prioritize places in the field to assess soil burn severity. These individuals sampled accessible sites to evaluate soil changes caused by the fire. In particular, they are collecting information on ground cover, ash color, soil depth and structure, intact roots, and water repellency in order to build a picture of soil burn severity.

The analysis showed the following distribution of severity:

Unburned: 18,192 acres (13%) | Low: 47,548 (35%) | Moderate: 55,118 (40%) | High: 16,934 (12%) 

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Source: Western Oregon USFS BAER Burned Area Emergency Response