this week, about 280 truckloads of wood shreds are being hauled to the Butte Fire burn area where they will later be dropped by helicopters for erosion control.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management awarded Mountain West Helicopters a $2 million contract to disperse nearly 35,000 cubic yards of wood shreds on 1,400 acres of BLM land in the burn zone, mostly along Jesus Maria Creek.

David Christy, public information officer with the BLM, said that the bureau started Monday to transport more than 50 truckloads of wood shreds a week to the burn zone. The hauling by truck of the wood sheds is expected to last until mid-February.

Mountain West Helicopters will then disperse the shreds between mid-February and early April, depending on weather, Christy said. Some wood shreds will be dropped on the Mokelumne and upper Calaveras River watersheds to be spread by hand.

Christy said that the trucks will pass through Mountain Ranch Road, Highway 26 and Jesus Maria Road on their way to the staging areas.

“This is the latest phase of work we have been doing

to stabilize and rehabilitate

the burned area,” said Bill Haigh, BLM Mother Lode field manager.

“The amount of wood shreds that will be hauled equals about 283 truckloads. There will be heavy traffic on Jesus Maria Road and other roads. We are working with Calaveras County to minimize travel disruptions.”

The Butte Fire, which began on Sept. 9 and was fully contained on Oct. 2, burned 70,868 acres, including 12,058 acres of BLM property.

By Travis Taborek, 

Helicopters to start spreading wood shreds in Butte Fire burn area – Calaveras Enterprise