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Seeds Sprout in Fire-Scorched SW N.M.

Damage can be seen from the Whitewater-Baldy fire that burned in the Gila Wilderness this year. (Journal File)
Damage can be seen from the Whitewater-Baldy fire that burned in the Gila Wilderness this year. (Journal File)
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SILVER CITY (AP) — Many of the seeds spread throughout a southern New Mexico forest that was charred by a wildfire now are sprouting.

Contractors have seeded 26,200 acres burned by the Whitewater-Baldy Fire in the Gila National Forest. Recent rains have helped spur the growth of the seeds. Native plants also are sprouting in areas that weren’t burned as severely.

The restoration work is part of the federal government’s Burned Area Emergency Response. Teams of scientists analyze the fire effects and try to determine what can be done to minimize post-fire flooding and erosion.

Straw mulch is being spread on another 14,000 acres, with one ton of mulch per acre. The contractor is offering work to local residents with trucks and flatbeds who want to transport the straw.

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