$24M in Restoration Work Needed at High Park Fire

July 23, 2012

A report on impacts from the High Park Fire in northern Colorado recommends an estimated $24 million in work to restore burned areas.

Some work could qualify for federal funds, but it’s not yet clear who will provide the rest.

The report released Thursday was by a Burned Area Emergency Response team of federal, state and local specialists.

Photo:FEMA/Michael Rieger

The wildfire started June 9 and was contained after burning about 136 square miles, including about 9 square miles that burned at a high severity, but about 22 square miles within the fire perimeter were unburned, the team said. The fire damaged 259 homes and killed one person.

The report said work is needed to reduce damage from debris left behind by the flames, clear water channels, and expand culverts on roads to reduce flooding. Burned trees that could fall on trails or roads need to be cut.

Aerial mulching already is planned for about 5,600 acres of national forest land to prevent erosion on burned soils. The team said aerial mulching and seeding also could be done on about 5,600 acres of private land.

Burned soil can repel water, leading to potential floods during rainstorms. Rainstorms in burned areas have led to mudslides on Colorado 14 through Poudre Canyon.

The Colorado Department of Transportation plans possible rock scaling to prevent more rockslides.

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