The huge Inyo complex fire destroyed 35,000 acres of beautiful mountain and valley lands, and the damage goes on. Rehab of the blackened areas now goes on. A special team identified the need to work against erosion, floods and debris. Work has begun.
According to the Forest Service, plans will go forward to stabilize roads and trails and to reduce risks of erosion to downstream road and channel crossings. The crews will also work to help our fire-wounded acres recover.
Soil conservationists have already stated that heavy rains or run-off can trigger floods and mudslides in canyons above Independence. Another fear, that off road vehicle drivers will further damage the vulnerable areas.
The team urges people who drive or hike over the burned areas to use caution, especially if thunderstorms bring rain that could dislodge rocks and debris that are in an unstable condition.
Clean-up and rehab are underway in the Oak Creek, Baxter Pass trailhead and Rex Montis Mine areas. The Forest Service said that the Oak Creek watershed was burned so badly, it will take years to recover. The Forest Service has determined that the Oak Creek Campground facilities are beyond repair. Burned picnic tables, restroom buildings and more will be removed.
Inyo County Public Works officials are also in the process of assessing future problems because of the fire. We'll let you know more later.