Post-Fire Recovery

Two people in yellow shirts and green pants wearing backpacks and hard hats look out onto in a yellow-brown meadow edged by conifer trees with small columns of rising smoke and steam, and moderate cloud cover.
Botanists on the Dixie Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team survey Warner Valley meadow above Drakesbad Guest Ranch.



After a wildfire, the burned landscape is assessed to determine if there are post-fire threats from flash floods and debris flows. Critical natural and cultural resources are also assessed for threats from erosion, invasive species, or loss of critical habitat. There are three components of post-fire response following wildfires on federal lands fire suppression repair; emergency stabilization; and long-term recovery and restoration.


Post Dixie-Fire Response

Hazard Tree Removal Project

Crews are removing hazard trees burned from the park highway and Warner Valley and Juniper Lake Areas as part of the 2021 Dixie Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER). Hazard trees pose a threat to safety or infrastructure and are identified by a blue paint mark. This project will be completed through a partnership with Mooretown Forestry fall 2022 through 2023. Work will begin at the Southwest Walk-in Campground and Drakesbad Guest Ranch. Once hazard trees are removed, other crews will continue work to repair or rehabilitate these areas for re-opening. Work in the Juniper Lake is anticipated to begin in 2023.

A map of the park with blue dots outlined by red to show hazard tree removal work areas along the park highway and in the Warner Valley and Juniper Lake areas.
Dixie Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Hazard Tree Removal project overview map.

Three Components of Post-Fire Response

Fire Suppression Repair

This includes a series of immediate post-fire actions taken to repair damages and minimize potential soil erosion and impacts resulting from fire suppression activities and usually begins before the fire is contained, and before the demobilization of an Incident Management Team. This work repairs the hand and dozer fire lines, roads, trails, staging areas, safety zones, and drop points used during fire suppression efforts.

Emergency Stabilization-Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)

This includes a rapid assessment of burned areas by a BAER team to identify imminent post-wildfire threats to human life and safety, property, and critical natural or cultural resources as well as recommendation of emergency stabilization measures.

Long-Term Recovery and Restoration

This process utilizes non-emergency actions to improve fire-damaged lands that are unlikely to recover naturally and to repair or replace facilities damaged by the fire that are not critical to life and safety. This phase may include restoring burned habitat, reforestation, other planting or seeding, monitoring fire effects, replacing burned fences, interpreting cultural sites, treating noxious weed infestations, and installing interpretive signs. The Department of Interior Burned Area Rehabilitation (BAR) program provides one source of funding for non-emergency post-fire rehabilitation and vegetation restoration projects.

Learn more about post-fire recovery from the National Park Service and the National Interagency Fire Center.

Zoomed in photo of a pine cone laying on dark soil and surrounded by dead pine needles. Blurry charred pine trees stand in the background.
Pine cone lying on the ground in a burned area.


Dixie Fire Recovery Updates and Accomplishments

Repair and rehabilitation work progressed in 2022. Park staff plan to continue recovery efforts throughout 2023. Currently, management teams have successfully accomplished:

  • Replacing eight burned culverts.
  • Cleaning culverts and removed debris after storm events.
  • Surveying all roads and developed areas (campgrounds, trailheads, waysides, etc.) for hazard trees.
  • Removing over 4000 identified hazard trees.
  • Starting to re-establish 45 miles (72 km) of National Park Service Boundary.
  • Communicating post-fire risks (Park Guide, website, signs, interpretive signage, roaming closed area, and Visitor Center contacts)
  • Stabilizing 10 sites that had potential hazardous water (burned buildings, boardwalks and bridges).
  • Assessing burned infrastructure for hazardous waste.
  • Installing exclusion features and stabilizing the Historic Harkness Fire Lookout.
  • Completing over 100 condition assessments on known cultural resource sites.
  • Replacing the Kings Creek and Mill Creek Overlooks.
  • Replacing the burned boardwalk at Drakesbad and Summit Lake.
  • Removing down trees.
  • Assessing over 113 miles (182 km) of trail in the burned area.
  • Surveying burned areas for invasive plants and treated populations.
  • Replacing wildlife cameras and bat detection equipment.
  • Purchasing equipment for the Mt. Harkness Radio repeater.

Last updated: April 3, 2023

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