BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Nearly 5,000 acres of land in one of Boulder County's most popular parks was burned in last year's Calwood Fire, and while nature alone will allow it to recover, humans will make that process go significantly faster.
Recovery work is now underway at Heil Valley Ranch, which is just outside of Lyons. Part of this involves using helicopters to dump mulch onto the burned forest, with the goal of replacing the vegetation that was lost during the fire and to provide some stabilization.
9NEWS Photojournalist Mike Grady went to the park to capture video of the aerial mulching earlier this month. We turned some of those images into GIFs to illustrate exactly how extensive this cleanup process is.
Contractors will be applying approximately five tons of wood shreds per acre in hopes of reducing flood risk.
The fire left behind acres upon acres of burned trees and charred ground.
Crews are working to clear trees on either side of some of the park's trails, and the wood is being processed on site. This is later being used for the aerial mulching efforts.
Teams are working to reseed the burned areas to promote new growth.
Part of the urgency for this work comes from the flood risk. The park said the severely burned landscape could flood all the small and large canyons in the area, and potentially deposit debris and mud at the main trailhead.
Portions of the park are now open to on-trail use, including the Picture Rock, Wild Turkey and Ponderosa Loop trails.
The south side of the park will stay closed until at least Sept. 30 for restoration efforts.
For updates, click here.
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