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First aid for fragile hills

October 09, 2008|Catherine Saillant

Winter is on the way, so hillsides burned in the Gap fire near Goleta got a coating of green-tinged hydromulch that was applied by contractors for the U.S. Forest Service. Mulching took place over 13 days starting Sept. 24, with six planes and a helicopter dropping 3.5 million gallons of the sticky gel. The mulch is made of recycled paper, wood fiber, water and a binding agent, and mixed with green dye. It is intended to cut soil erosion by allowing native seeds and roots to get a foothold in areas hit by the summer fires, Forest Service officials said. Mulched areas will be closed to the public for a year.

-- Catherine Saillant

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