Helicopter drops of mulch planned on burned areas of Mount Charleston

The U.S. Forest Service plans to soon drop mulch on burned areas of Mount Charleston in the wake of the July Carpenter 1 Fire.

The mulch, or hydramulch, dispersal is part of the recommendations of the Burned Area Emergency Response team that responded in the wake of the fire, Forest Service spokesman Jay Nichols said.

The process, which could take from five to 10 days and may start at the end of the week, will include flying dry, weed-free straw and hay over some of the areas highly affected by the fire, Forest Service spokeswoman Skye Sieber said.

“We were trying to get stuff grown locally,” Sieber said, but with recent rains, there was no dry straw available for purchase.

Dry mulch is important for the distribution because it will not clump, and the most effective mulch is a “nice layer of mulch across the soil,” one to two inches in depth, she said.

The endangered Mount Charleston blue butterfly habitat will not be affected by the dropped mulch, which will be spread in the area east of Cathedral Rock picnic area and behind the Rainbow Community, Nichols said.