Station fire burned area assessment urges continued park closure

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Federal officials want to keep the Station fire burned areas closed to “for public safety, and watershed protection and recovery,” Los Angeles County’s executive office announced Wednesday.

A final report on the Station fire from the U.S. Forest Service’s Burned Area Emergency Response assessment team recommended on Oct. 16 that the burned areas should not be open to the public because visitors could disturb natural recovery processes.

From the Forest Service’s announcement:

The BAER assessment team’s primary recommendation is to continue the closure of the burned area for public safety, and watershed protection and recovery.  Research studies reviewed by the team revealed that post-fire seeding in chaparral ecosystems does not significantly accelerate vegetation recovery.  The team also found that large-scale mulch or seeding treatments would not be effective for much of the burned area due to steepness, unstable soils, and burn severity.

The Forest Service also detailed a set of suggested measures to expedite the regeneration of vegetation in the burned areas:

Treatments determined to be effective include: cleaning and maintaining storm control structures; deflecting flows around structures at-risk; stabilizing hazardous materials; preventing disturbance of burned lands; and conducting detection surveys for noxious weeds and invasive animal species.  Implementation of the recommended treatments is underway and being accomplished through a cooperative effort with federal, state, and local agencies.

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Written by Zain Shauk

October 22, 2009 at 8:21 am

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