Workers will have $5 million, 6 weeks for Biscuit fire repair

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at
Sat Sep 21 23:23:24 EST 2002

>From The Oregonian, Sept. 18, 2002, p B13 (Science)

Workers will have $5 million, 6 weeks for Biscuit fire repair

By WENDY OWEN, Correspondent, The Oregonian
	GOLD BEACH - U.S. Forest Service officials have approved spending
more than $5 million to repair some of the damage caused by the
Biscuit fire in the Siskiyou National Forest.
	The Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation team plans to drop straw
mulch from helicopters to stabilize 5,450 ares, seed 2,940 acres with
barley and seed another 200 acres with native grasses, according to a
report released Tuesday. The majority of the seeding and mulching will
be on the northern half of the nearly 500,000-acre fire footprint.
	Workers will repair drainages on 213 miles of road and fall hazardous
trees along 82 miles of road.
	The work will decrease runoff that could wash out roads and
contaminate water supplies. It will also reduce the spread of noxious
weeds and protect habitat for several endangered species, including
coho salmon and the rockcress plant, according to the report.
	Workers must complete the work before Nov. 1, when the first heavy
rains are expected.
	As much as a half-inch of rain fell Tuesday on parts of the Biscuit
fire, but it wasn't enough to douse the blaze, still burning within
containment lines. Brian Ballou, fire information officer, said heavy
winter rains and snow will extinguish the fire.
	The rain was too light to cause erosion problems in severely burned
areas, but it was a reminder to forest rehabilitation crews that more
showers are on the way.
	Runoff can wash burned and fallen debris down unstable slopes and
create mudslides. About 16 percent of the Biscuit fire area is
considered severely burned, and thus most vulnerable to erosion. No
ground cover remains to block runoff, and the soil is often
	Weather forecasts predicted the rain ending today, with temperatures
in the 80s and a warm wind to dry out the forest again.

Posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler

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