Officials are likening the severely burned area to a moonscape.
The Waldo Canyon fire in Pike’s National Forest burned so hot that it scorched the earth. Experts are saying that 20 percent of the affected area was burned so severely that all plants and their root systems have been destroyed.
The Burned Area Emergency Response assessment team has found that about 5 square miles of soil was burned so severely that it looks like a moonscape now. The severely burned areas are spread throughout Pike’s National Forest and can be seen in the map above.
The fire started June 23 and destroyed nearly 350 homes, killing two people. Now, the BAER is looking at the long term effects of the fire and how to recover. From assessing the damage to reforestation and monitoring, there is a long road ahead.
The response team has made recommendations for controlling erosion and regrowth, including dropping mulch from helicopters, temporarily closing affected areas and stabilizing paths, roads and trails.