Re-seeding effort underway for #PineGulchFire area — The #GrandJunction Daily Sentinel

Firefighters on the march: The Pine Gulch Fire, smoke of which shown here, was started by alighting strike on July 31, 2020, approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction, Colorado. According to InciWeb, as of August 27 2020, the Pine Gulch Fire became the largest wildfire in Colorado State history, surpassing Hayman Fire that burned near Colorado Springs in the summer of 2002. Photo credit: Bureau of Land Mangement-Colorado, via InciWeb and National Interagency Fire Center.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Alex Zorn):

More than 20,000 pounds of fresh seed airdropped over the area of the Pine Gulch Fire [the week of February 21, 2021] is intended to help regrow the sagebrush, pinyon, juniper and other timber and brush that were lost to the record-setting blaze.

By the time the last ember went out, the fire burned more than 139,000 acres — the largest in Colorado history before being overtaken by fires later in the season. Rehabilitation efforts are planned over the next year, including these seed drops…

The BLM will receive $3.5 million in funding from the Department of Interior for rehabilitation efforts.

“The majority of it will recover naturally. It’s a part of the ecosystem and (fire) stimulates new growth. We’re only seeding 22,000 of the 138,000-acre fire in areas where the fire burned hottest,” Coulter explained. “Sometimes, in those areas, the soil won’t absorb water and support regrowth.”

With a smaller fire, BLM may have used a team of volunteers to seed the burned areas but, on Colorado’s third largest fire in history, aerial drops were necessary…

Seed was also dropped on other nearby burn scars in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife…

Seed was purchased mostly from producers, though some volunteers were used to collect seeds from the land.

The best time to seed is when there is still a fresh layer of snow on the ground.“It’s a tremendous conditions. It’s all snow-covered, the timing is optimal” Sullivan said.

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