. RMRS - BAER Road Treatment Tools - Peak Flow

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Burned Area Emergency Response Tools

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BAER Tools -> Post-Fire Road Treatment Tools -> Post-Fire Peak Flow and Erosion Estimation

Post-Fire Peak Flow and Erosion Estimation


There is a general consensus that post-fire streamflow increases, often with orders of magnitude larger than pre-fire events, especially for watersheds of high and moderate burn severity. Burned watersheds can yield runoff that quickly produces flash floods. The largest post-fire peak flow often occurs in smaller watersheds. Increased post-fire flow may transport debris that was produced by the fire. Often, the post-fire flow is a combination of water flow and debris, called bulking. Road treatments should be prescribed and implemented if existing drainage structures can not handle the post-fire runoff increase.


BAER specialists have been using the following methods to estimate post-fire runoff:

  1. USGS regression,
  2. Curve Number,
  3. Rule of Thumb by Kuyumjian,
  4. TR-55,
  5. ERMiT,
  6. FERGI, and
  7. WATBAL.


Disclaimers: USDA Forest Service, Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory is not responsible for results of post-fire runoff estimation methods, but provides information on how to use these methods. The choice of the method is the user's, and he/she is solely responsible for the estimation results.




USDA Forest Service - RMRS - Moscow Forestry Sciences Laboratory
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