Tres Lagunas burn area. Courtesy/SFNF
PECOS – Monday, July 29, Salmon River Helicopters began aerial rehabilitation operations.
Straw mulch was dropped by helicopter on top of seed and in other areas. The straw mulch holds moisture in place, which aids in seed sprouting and slows water flow. In addition to providing forest regrowth, the treatments help reduce rain runoff. However, hydrology modeling indicates that many areas within or downstream from the fire burn scar will experience twice as much flooding for several years during annual monsoons.
Private land owners should use caution while travelling N.M. Highway 63 due to the rehab operations in Pecos Canyon. Ten semi-truck loads of straw will be delivered each day over a week’s time and staged in the “Horse Pasture’ area below Tererro. The helicopter will load from that location (weather permitting) and drop the mulch over specified areas.
Thursday, July 25, the Tres Lagunas Post-Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team and contractors initiated work on the channel clearing and realignment of a tributary in Holy Ghost creek. Workers were busy over the weekend after heavy rainfall caused significant flooding and damage in Holy Ghost canyon. Trees and debris had to be cleared from channels that became clogged from the flooding. These efforts will continue in order to help to reduce stream flooding and debris from moving downstream or clogging bridges.
The New Mexico State Police continue the Highway 63 closure within the Pecos Canyon, from mile marker 15 northbound. Although much of the Santa Fe National Forest has reopened, camping and day use sites along the Pecos River (N.M. 63) remain closed due to current and continued potential flooding and other post-fire hazards.
Need Sand Bags?
The Pecos Canyon Volunteer Fire Department continues to offer private land owners sand bags. The bags are stationed at the Tererro store. For more information contact Huie Ley with the Pecos Canyon Volunteer Fire Department at (505) 757-6193.