U.S. Forest Service approves $2.2 million in emergency land treatment financing
Nearly $2.2 million in emergency land treatment money for the Angora fire burn area has been approved by the federal government, officials announced Tuesday.
U.S. Forest Service officials in Washington, D.C., approved the Burned Area Emergency Response team’s recommendation for $2,192,205 for immediate forest fire recovery efforts.
“Within weeks, a significant series of large landscape treatments will begin to stabilize the ash and post-fire debris, allowing the burned area to resist erosion and run-off effects through the coming winter season,” wrote Rex Norman, spokesman for the Forest Service, in a press statement released Tuesday. The order was signed Friday.
About 70 percent of the money will go toward aerial hydromulching of steep slopes within the burned area.
Aerial hydromulching involves an aircraft delivering a seedless “wet wood fiber mulch mix.” This “sticky and resilient” mixture is designed to stabilize soil and decrease erosion potential from stormwater runoff.
BAER team recommendations are expected to decrease post-fire runoff impacts by “70 percent or more” when combined with projects on nonfederal lands, according to Norman.
South Lake Tahoe leaders and the city’s public works director expressed concern about the adequacy of the treatments recommended by the BAER team at last week’s council meeting, saying heavier than anticipated rains could overwhelm the BAER treatments and clog storm drains with ashy debris.
The BAER team’s recommended treatments will be adequate for immediate preservation of life, property and resources, Norman said on Tuesday.
Long-term rehabilitation is not included in the BAER funding package.
These efforts are currently being evaluated and will be take place over the next three years, according to Norman.
Treatments by the numbers:
Initial Assessment Costs – $115,650
Protection and Safety –
Hazard tree removal on urban lots – $2,000
Hazard tree surveys on urban lots – $22,000
Land Treatments –
Aerial hydromulching – $1,590,000
Ground hydromulching – $52,500
Noxious weed treatments – $16,000
Noxious weed surveys – $3,220
Hand mulching – $82,500
Check dam and water bar installations – $1,600
Urban lot seeding – $9,375
Installation of filter fencing on urban lots – $350
Fencing on urban lots – $30,000
Drainage function restoration – $3,000
Removal of hazard trees – $7,500
Installation of drainage armor – $192,500
Installation of aggregate base rock – $ 56,250
BAER warning signs – $5,600
Installation of geotech fabric – $2,160