Recovery efforts in massive Cameron Peak fire burn scar amp up with aerial mulching

Recovery work in the massive burn scar of the Cameron Peak fire, the largest wildfire in state history, is ongoing and the Long Draw area will be closed to the public because of aerial mulching, road work and other activities.

Aerial mulching, carried out by the City of Greeley and other partners, will start next week as part of recovery efforts for the Peterson and Barnes Meadow reservoirs, according to a Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forests news release. The effort will help reduce runoff from burned areas, protecting the reservoirs from debris flows and sediment, improving water quality downstream.

Work to prepare for mulching operations includes creating helicopter landing sites, tree felling and road improvements, including along Long Draw Road, which has been closed.

“There will be a large number of trucks on the road hauling mulch to complete the mitigation efforts,” the release said. “Additional mulching in the coming months could take place on up to 12,000 acres in the area.”

Drivers in the area, including along the Poudre Canyon, will see increased truck traffic during the recovery projects. Roads closed to traffic in the area will be prompted by safety concerns and natural resource protections.

The 2020 Cameron Peak fire burned 208,913 acres including 173,000 acres  of national forest land, according to the release. Closures in the area are expected to be a mix of long- and short-term durations.


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