U.S. Forest Service Team in Armenia for Post-Fire Recovery Support

A team of experts from the U.S. Forest Service is in Armenia working with the Ministry of Nature Protection to assist with decisions of where, when, and how to apply the most effective post-fire treatments to mitigate erosion, flooding, and promote long-term watershed health and vegetation recovery following the Khosrov and Artavan fires.

The team, forest geneticist Dr. Andrew Bower and hydrologist Dana Butler, are in Armenia to offer technical expertise on the “Burned Area Emergency Response” process used by the U.S. Forest Service following such disasters. They are also sharing techniques on fire suppression repair, as well as offering technical experience in long-term recovery of watersheds.

“We are glad this team is able to come so quickly after the fire to help our Armenian partners by sharing best practices and techniques,” said U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills, Jr. “This is an important step in our partnership with Armenia to ensure damage caused by future fires is mitigated.”

The two U.S. experts are meeting with staff at the Khosrov Reserve, government officials, NGOs, and other stakeholders to listen, learn, and help identify critical locations in and around the burned area that need immediate attention. On this trip they are specifically looking at areas at risk of damage from water runoff and erosion caused by the loss of vegetation. They are working on providing recommendations for immediate emergency treatments to minimize the threats to life or property by flooding or landslides.