Tuesday, October 21, 2008

County wraps up hydromulch project


Several weeks after an aerial hydromulching project in national forest lands burned by the Gap Fire wrapped up, county officials announced a similar project in county lands has been completed as well.
Several thousand flights by fixed-wing aircraft and a Skycrane helicopter blanketed approximately 1,000 acres in only 10 days, coming in ahead of schedule and on budget authorities said.

“We want to thank our residents for their patience while the aerial hydromulching was completed,” Scott McGolpin, the county’s public works department director, said in a news release. “The pilots did an outstanding job to finish their work quickly and efficiently.”
Officials hope the hydromulch, a mix of recycled paper and wood fiber, will reduce soil erosion and give native seeds and roots a chance to gain a foothold in the fire-scorched earth.
The substance contains a temporary green dye that will fade with time, but does not include seeds or fertilizer.
The county’s portion of the project cost approximately $3.2 million. The Natural Resources Conservation Service is putting up 75 percent of the bill, while the remaining balance is being funded by contributions from the cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara, the county and the state of California.
In addition to hydromulching, county workers have completed several other projects designed to lessen the impact of potential landslides or floods as a result of the Gap Fire.
Approximately 16 miles of streams and creeks have been cleared, five debris racks have been installed in high runoff sites, four major sediment basins near the airport have been dredged and officials are establishing a free sandbag station at County Fire Station #14 on Los Carneros Road.
Crews are currently shoring up the bridge to Goleta Beach in anticipation of heavy truck traffic hauling sediment from basins near the airport for quick disposal along the coastline, a plan authorities said will also help nourish the beach.
Authorities are continuing to urge residents who live below or near the Gap Fire burn area to consider purchasing flood insurance, adding that most policies don’t go into effect until a month from the date of purchase.

No comments: