Company develops mulch-seed hybrid to help land scorched by Yale Road Fire

Company develos mulch-seed hybrid to help land scorched by Yale Road Fire

SPOKANE, Wash. - We're just a few months removed from this summer's Yale Road Fire, but thanks to one local company, the healing process could be quicker than expected.

The Yale Road Fire devastated the Spangle-Fairfield area this summer, destroying ten homes, killing livestock and scarring nearly 6,000 acres. And to make things more difficult, because of the hilly nature of the land, reseeding can only be done through the air.

The practice is far from consistent, but one local company says it has found a solution.

Traditionally a small plane or helicopter would make two trips over damaged areas, one dropping seed and the other dropping mulch.

"The mulch is heave, the seed is light. The seed blows away, the mulch drops more and they kind of were talking about if the seed was on the mulch and they could get it to drop on target, then that would be a good solution," said Kathy Hutton, owner of Plants Of the Wild.

Hutton's company is a branch of Fairfield-based company Seeds Incorporated. The two companies teamed up with North Idaho Processing to develop a mulch-seed hybrid. They took their existing mulch pellets called "straw bullets" and stuck them with a mixture of natural seeds. The newly-patented product is now called "a loaded bullet."

"It's very exciting. We've all been very excited," Hutton said. "It's been about a week now that we've all been waiting for a clear day that the plane could fly."

Friday was that day. Right now, Seeds Incorporated is only contracted to spread the experimental seed on 30 acres of the fire, but if it proves to be effective, they hope to spread much more.