Damage Survey Reports

Assessing the Damage

Following the fires, Grand County and Northern Water began working with partners on post-fire watershed restoration and planning of projects that mitigate threats to life and property due to post-fire flood, sediment or debris. During the week of Feb. 8, 2021, EWP Partners performed field assessments of nonfederal lands in the affected areas of the East Troublesome Fire. Teams identified potential postfire hazards to life and property that may occur in coming months and years; as well as potential treatment options to mitigate hazard risks, and estimated costs of potential treatments. 

Postfire hazards may include but are not limited to: stream channels becoming clogged with sediment and debris which may result in flooding; infrastructure such as roads and bridges becoming damaged by increased sediment and debris during runoff; and homes and or other structures that could be impacted by increased water and debris flows. Because of the effects of the fire on the landscape, ephemeral channels might emerge where water has not historically flowed. The assessment teams are working with NRCS to summarize the data and prepare Damage Survey Reports which will be submitted to NRCS national headquarters for funding consideration and possible approval.

Damage Survey Reports Approved

Officials from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Washington, D.C., have approved the projects submitted by local teams to address threats to life and property caused by runoff over land scarred by the East Troublesome Fire. Because of the effects of the fire on the landscape, ephemeral channels might emerge after rainstorms where water has not historically flowed. Some work is anticipated in advance of the summer monsoon season to address as many of those critical areas as funding allows.

DSR Field Objectives

  • Collect field data relating to watershed impairments threatening life and property
  • Prepare preliminary plans to protect life and property and create a digital map
  • Ground truth desktop analyses and anticipated mitigation strategies
  • Establish relationships with specific landowners

Damage Survey Reports were conducted in the following areas and included either Northern Water or Grand County as leads:

  • Feb. 8 - Willow Creek, Area A – Northern Water
  • Feb. 9 - Stillwater Creek and Colorado River tributaries down to Windy Gap, Area A – Northern Water
  • Feb. 10 - Colorado River upstream of Shadow Mountain Reservoir and North Inlet, Area A – Northern Water
  • Feb. 11 - Lower Colorado River tributaries downstream of Windy Gap to Hot Sulphur Springs, Area B – Grand County
  • Feb. 12 - Hot Sulphur Springs to Troublesome Creek, Area B - Grand County