Pipeline Fire Soil burn severity map released
Coconino National Forest officials have released the soil burn severity map for the Pipeline Fire that scorched 26,500 acres on the San Francisco Peaks. It shows more than half of the area burned at a low severity and about a third at moderate severity. About 5% of the soil, or approximately 1,300 acres, burned at a high severity.
Moderate and high soil severity impacts can result in increased runoff, erosion and water repellency and can increase flooding in areas below some watersheds.
During the Pipeline Fire some of the most intense fire activity occurred in Weatherford Canyon north of Schultz Pass where a mix of high and moderate intensity fire swept through the area, wiping out whole stands of ponderosa pine and aspen trees.
A burned area emergency response team used remote sensing imagery with field-validated soils data to produce the final burn severity map. The team has shared the map with Coconino County flood officials and other agencies to estimate post-fire erosion, sediment delivery, flooding and debris flows.
The Pipeline Fire is now 85% contained. Managers continue to report minimal activity, but some fuels are still burning in the fire’s interior. They also expect monsoon rains to further decrease fire behavior but create possible lightning and isolated heavy precipitation that could produce flash flooding and debris flows off the fire scar along with the Museum and Tunnel fire burn areas.
The nearby 5,500-acre Haywire Fire is 70% contained with minimal heat and negligible growth.