Workshop helps Pateros residents tend to burn scar

Workshop helps Pateros residents tend to burn scar

PATEROS, Wash. - The Carlton Complex Fire not only destroyed hundreds of homes but did some pretty bad damage to the Earth. Those wondering how they could help mend the burn scar attended a workshop in Pateros on Saturday.

There are signs of life along Alta Lake Road a month after a raging wildfire literally burned everything leaving just ash and bare dirt.

"It is personal to me, it's personal to my organization because we all live in Okanogan County," said Kirsten Cook of Okanogan County Conservation District.

On Saturday, the Conservation District held a workshop on what to do and what not to do when cleaning up dead trees and debris from their property.

"When this disaster hit, and we saw how much private land had been impacted, we knew that this was something we were going to need to step up and really reach out to our land owners that we'd worked with and land owners that we hadn't worked with," Cook said.

Cook says a lot of the vegetation that burned will come back, but there is concern over steep hills and the winter rains.

"The Natural Resource Conservation Service is currently doing assessments of areas that are most at risk for flash flooding, places where there are houses in an area where there may be hit by some sort of debris flow," Cook said.

Many at the workshop had questions about dead trees. Guy Giffords with the Department of Natural Resources says it's good to leave about two to four per acre still standing or on the ground.

"Mother Nature's bird house was a big tree, the woodpeckers will make a hole and then the next year the migratory song bird's will use that same hole that the woodpecker used the year before," Giffords said.

Experts say the recent rains will do good. They're asking those in the burn scar to wait a few weeks and see what Mother Nature does before making any changes like planting trees or new grass to their property.