White Fire Flood Mitigation Activities Progressing on Schedule

Ruidoso Downs, N.M. (June 15, 2011) Good progress is being made in the White Fire area to reduce the impacts of monsoonal rainfall on lands and private property downstream from the burned landscape. Activities and treatments planned by the individual cooperators are on schedule for completion by early July and prior to the onset of the monsoons.

Application of a grass seed mix on 5,900 acres of Lincoln National Forest lands within the White Fire area was completed on June 15. The seed was applied by fixed wing aircraft at a rate of 53 lbs. per acre. The particular seed mix chosen for this project will germinate quickly with a small amount of moisture, and will serve to stabilize the soil, slow runoff and return vegetation to the fire area.

Also as of June 15, straw mulch is being spread on 1,800 acres of sloped lands that have been treated with seed. The straw mulch is being applied on these National Forest lands at a rate of two tons per acre using helicopters equipped with large nets. The straw mulch will protect the seed and encourage germination, as well as slow runoff and reduce erosion. Aerial straw mulching operations are on target for completion by July 1.

Lincoln National Forest is also generic replacement nexium working on National Forest land in Johnson Canyon to slow runoff and reduce impacts to Ruidoso Downs Race Track and the surrounding area including many private horse barns.

Concrete jersey barriers are being acquired as quickly as possible by Lincoln County and the City of Ruidoso Downs. Barriers have currently been placed in Highland Canyon and adjacent to other residences in Ruidoso Downs. N.M. Department of Transportation has donated additional concrete barriers and the County and the City are working hard to coordinate delivery and placement of these additional barriers despite limited equipment resources.

The City of Ruidoso Downs and Lincoln County have installed drainage ditches to protect private property in Highland Canyon and along North Street in Ruidoso Downs, and will continue to build and reinforce ditches in other locations. Sand bags are available through the City and County for use by private landowners. Residents and business owners are strongly encouraged to take their own actions to protect their property.

CLOSURES: A Forest Closure Order is in effect for all roads and lands within the boundaries of the Lincoln National Forest due to the extreme fire conditions. A separate Closure Order has also been issued for all lands within the White Fire area to ensure public safety.