WILDFIRES

State Restoring Nearly 100,000 Acres Of Burn Scar Land

Oct 5, 2020, 8:04 PM | Updated: 8:47 pm
Straw bombed Brianhead fire in 2018. (Courtesy Utah Department of Natural Resources.)...
Straw bombed Brianhead fire in 2018. (Courtesy Utah Department of Natural Resources.)
(Courtesy Utah Department of Natural Resources.)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Department of Natural Resources has begun preparing restoration work on nearly 100,000 acres of blackened land from dozens of wildfires across the state.

The fire areas targeted for the rehab work does not include the seven fires currently burning in Utah, according to a news release. The work was being done through Utah’s Restoration Initiative (WRI), the release added.

“Fire season does not end once the flames are extinguished. There’s a lot of effort and collaboration with our partners that goes into restoring critical watersheds and wildlife habitat areas,” said Tyler Thompson, WRI program manager. “Healthy watersheds are necessary for how we manage natural resources in Utah. Wildfire restoration is one of the most important actions we can take to reduce future catastrophic wildfire, restore native vegetation and watershed functions, and increase habitat and forage for wildlife and agriculture.”

The restoration work includes reseeding, which will be done from the air and on the ground, as well as laying straw in the blackened areas to reduce erosion and the threat of flash flooding. The work begins in October and will continue into 2021.

The cost of the project has been estimated at more than $16 million.

Aerial reseeding of the Tank Hollow fire in 2017 (Utah Department of Natural Resources)

Crews were also doing work to clear dead trees and brush on more than 250,000 acres to reduce the potential for future catastrophic fires.

WRI is a partnership-based program designed to improve high-priority watersheds throughout Utah.

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State Restoring Nearly 100,000 Acres Of Burn Scar Land