Rain crucial for mountain terrain to recover

Firefighters say the storms moving through the Central Valley are crucial to helping land ravaged by wildfires, including the massive Rim Fire, recover.
February 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Firefighters say the storms moving through the Central Valley are crucial to helping land ravaged by wildfires, including the massive Rim Fire, recover.

The Valley floor saw several hours of pouring rain and so did the foothills. "California is in a terrible drought, the rain is so welcome," said Lesandre Ayrey.

The wet weather is crucial for this mountain terrain to recover. This summer the Rim Fire tore through 400 square miles. Another series of arson fires in Yosemite Lakes Park torched the landscape and charred a lot of land. "The land just hasn't has any time to recover this year," said CAL FIRE's Chris Christoferson.

The battalion chief told us storms like this one rejuvenate burnt soil. He said, "Typically we have these early rains that gets the grass growth and gives the opportunity for the trees to absorb water. We haven't had that this year. With the extreme dry temperatures we have had and the lack of rain we have had we still have a lot of bare ground."

Bare ground doesn't have green grass and new growth is what holds soil together. In extreme wet weather or snow, without grass there's a higher risk of mudslides. "That's what causes the erosion," Christoferson said.

CAL FIRE is reminding the public because the grass is still so dry, be careful when lighting any fires outdoors because wildfires can still spread very quickly.


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