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Replanting a forest after the Caldor Fire

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 11:06 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Travel down some of the remote roads off Highway 88 near Kirkwood, drivers can’t help but notice the burned land and trees left over from last year’s Caldor Fire.

It can get overwhelming.

But these people are hoping to see the tree for the forest. Volunteers are planting 600 seedlings in areas cleared for re-growth with Red Fir and Western White Pine Trees.

Dylan Malfa is with volunteers from Patagonia. He and 23 of his co-workers came up on this day to give back to the land that for now looks hopeless.

“After driving up and seeing the devastation, it was actually bittersweet,” says Malfa. “We are happy to come up here, but we would of rather not of had to come up here,” he says.

But Dylan and his friends are undeterred. Each was asked to plant 10 to 12 seedlings in this area cleared out by the forest service.

“It takes years,” says Dennis Baggett with Kirkwood Resorts. “So, I am very hopeful that most of them hopefully will stay and become full trees in this area,” he says.

Baggett, also a volunteer, says it seems like just yesterday when the Caldor Fire threatened the ski resort and homes in the area. To come back and be able to regroup and do something positive feels good.

The seedlings are courtesy of the Sugar Pine Foundation. They work with the National Forest Service to get into burned areas and replant when it is safe to do so.

It’s hard to believe these tiny trees will grow up into something magnificent.

“About one forth will survive,” says Maria Micheva, with the Sugar Pine Foundation. “We are going to try and help that with watering,” she says.

Mircheva says she and additional volunteers will come up here in the summer and hand water the seedlings hoping to give them the best chance possible of survival.

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