Carpenter 1 Burned Area Emergency Response Frequently Asked Questions
Incident: Carpenter 1 Burn Area Emergency Response Burned Area Emergency Response
Carpenter 1 Burned Area Emergency Response
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Carpenter 1
On July 1 2013 lightning ignited several fires south of Carpenter Canyon in the southwestern portion of the Spring Mountains. All were contained except one which continued to grow and was named Carpenter 1. The fire was contained on August 18 2013. The fire perimeter measured 27 883 acres or 43 square miles. It is the largest wildfire in the recorded history of this area.
What is Burned Area Emergency Response
Often referred to as BAER it rapidly assesses areas burned by wildfire and prescribes emergency stabilization treatments on Federal Lands to protect human life and safety property and critical natural and cultural resources.
What are the helicopters doing
Helicopters are transporting and dropping straw mulch (helimulching) to areas burned by the Carpenter 1 fire.
Two bales are loaded into a net (a bale weighs between 800-1 300 lbs). A forklift bobcat or other machine is used to loosen and “fluff” up the straw. The net is then connected under the helicopter flown to the target drop zone and one side of the net is opened releasing the straw.
Why straw mulch
Straw mulch provides immediate ground cover and protection to soils from surface erosion. Mulch can reduce downstream peak flows by absorbing rainfall and allows pre-wetting of water repellant soils.
Mulch helps secure seeds that are stored in the soil and also maintains favorable soil moisture and temperature conditions for seed germination and growth.
Unseeded certified weed-free straw will be used. Straw must be dry so that comes apart easily doesn’t drop in clumps and spreads across the ground evenly.
Where are you dropping the straw
413 acres on the north facing slopes in upper Kyle Canyon including Rainbow Canyon. These acres are divided into nine different treatment units. Approximately 40 acres are in wilderness.
Criteria for selected treatment units included: area burned at moderate and/or high severity; slope less than 55% area does not receive excessively high winds.
How long will the work last
Operations will run between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily including weekends and expected to last up to seven days.
For both aviation safety and coverage effectiveness flights and straw drops will not be conducted during windy conditions.
100 acres of mulch are estimated to be applied per day. Recommended application rate is 1-2 tons/acre average mulch depth of 1-2 inches.
Who is doing the work
Bradco Environmental is a California-based company with over a decade of utility helicopter operations and forest work including logging thinning and erosion control.
Bradco performed helimulching operations for 3 000 acres severly burned in the Waldo Canyon fire.
What else is being done post-wildfire in the Spring Mountains
Other BAER treatments planned include replacing undersized culverts and water crossings constructing road drain dips ditches and over side drains removing hazard trees and installing water bars on trails.
In late August concrete jersey barriers were placed around administrative facilities and an undersized culvert and road crossing was removed in Kyle Wash upstream from the Kyle Canyon Visitor Center.
Design for replacement water crossing at Fletcher View Campground is underway.
Initial assessments of the Griffith Peak South Loop and Cathedral Rock trails found over 300 fallen trees.
Trail drainage work and tree clearing is delayed until next spring because we expect winter snowstorms will knock down additional trees.
Next growing season areas will be monitored for noxious weed infestations and treated as necessary.