U.S. Department of Agriculture District Conservationist Todd Boldt, orange shirt, talks with Alison, Jackson Temples, Patty Jackson, and Amy Temples, three generations of a family, walking across the bridge to see the effects of the Hewlett Gulch Fire, in the Poudre Canyon area, on Friday, July 20, 2012, near Fort Collins, Colorado. âTalking with people is one of the most important things I do. By talking with them, they will talk to maybe 50 others,â said Todd Boldt. âExplaining the effects of the fire and the steps that the City of Greeley and USDA are doing, go a long way to educate the public.â Unmitigated runoff have turned the water in this river from clear water to nearly black water heavily laden with ash, silt, and burnt debris that recent thunderstorms have already washed down from the mountainsides. When he dug down into the riverbanks, he found ash 18 inches below the surface, at the waterâs edge. At its peak more than 400 firefighters were battling fires pushed by 50 mph winds. When the last embers were cooled, more than 12-square miles lay blacked at a cost of approximately 3.2 million dollars to fight. The aerial distribution of straw has successfully kept nearby Seaman Reservoir clean for the drinking water of the City of Greeley. Forest Service lands receive straw, while private and other lands receive a seed mix and straw to promote ground cover plant growth on ash-covered lands. In total, 1,800 tons of straw will be applied during the 14-day operation. One quarter of the cost was paid by the City of Greeley and the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded the remainder. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
April 29, 2014