Apr. 19—BURLEY — Green shoots are starting to pop up on the 90,190 acres of
Restoration and seeding efforts started following the fire that was sparked
"I think the way it looks will be a shocker for folks," said District Ranger
The burned areas will appear "naked," despite the sprouts already coming up, but within two years it will begin to fill in, he said.
The fire provides opportunities for change and new growth.
"Visually it will be totally different," Thompson said. "But, it will be good too."
Too early to tell
The wind-driven fire jumped around and burned hot. From 40,000 feet up, what was left looks like a black mosaic pattern across the forest, Thompson said.
Erosion will occur, he said, but the extent is still unknown and the area will be under continual evaluation.
Thompson said after the fire was extinguished, an emergency response was launched to remove hazards like burned trees. Over the fall and winter, restoration efforts began, including mastication of juniper skeletons, which will help newly laid seed take root. To date, the
"It's still too early to tell how much of the seeding was successful," Thompson said. "There's still a lot of snow up there."
A week ago coming up through
The agency is working to secure more funding but they will wait for the optimal time to plant to ensure the best results, Thompson said.
"Timing is very important," he said.
There was some wildlife loss but they don't know yet how the animals fared over the winter.
"We know they moved their winter range," he said.
Most of the roads have not suffered any washouts from the fire damage so far this spring, but the risk is still there and some roads may be difficult to travel due to packed ash.
"People shouldn't tear through the muddy roads, not only for their safety but to help keep the roads in place," Thompson said.
Last year, a lot of trails were torn up by off-road vehicles.
All trails and campgrounds in the area will remain closed until they can be accessed by a specialist for the risk of falling rock.
One campground in the
"My biggest concern is not getting anyone hurt," Thompson said. "There is always a little risk but I want to make sure everyone is safe."
"I think we're in pretty good shape," he said. "This summer will be tough but we are ready to move forward. There is opportunity here to do some things that needed done and work with our partners."
The fire will give the agency an opportunity to tackle some projects like the Rock Creek Corridor Plan and upgrading
This spring BLM staff also planted 15,000
"It is really too early to tell the success of the rehab efforts so far,"
The BLM has three grazing allotments that burned and were seeded. Seeded areas will be rested from grazing until the agency's stabilization and restoration objectives are met, she said.
Thompson said they have purchased the materials to replace grazing allotment infrastructure lost during the fire including water troughs and fencing, but it hasn't been put in place yet.
"They (the grazing permittees) have been great to work with along with all of our partners," Thompson said.
Other agencies, organizations and clubs have stepped up to help evaluate, provide funding and work on restoration projects, he said. And it couldn't be done without everyone working as a team.
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