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Northern California District
Release Date: 12/04/12
Contacts: Jeff Fontana , 530-252-5332  
News Release No. CA-N-13-23

Seeding Gets Underway in Areas Burned by Rush Fire

Crews from the U. S. Bureau of Land Management have begun planting grass and shrub seeds on northeast Lassen County public lands charred by last summer’s Rush Fire.

A mix of native rangeland grasses, bitterbrush and sagebrush seed is being used, BLM officials said. Workers are using a massive rangeland “drill” to plant seed on about 5,000 acres.

“Last week’s rain caused a delay with conditions too muddy for heavy equipment, but we expect to be back to work this week,” said Ken Collum, manager of the BLM’s Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville. 

Seeding will be used in areas where there is the best chance for the grasses and shrubs to compete against invasive cheatgrass, BLM officials said.  Plants plants are expected to return naturally in higher elevations in the burned area.  Grasses and leafy plants are expected to recover in the next few growing seasons; sagebrush and bitterbrush regrowth will take much longer.

Collum said the BLM received about seven tons of seed last week and more shipments are expected in the next two weeks.

The Rush Fire was started by lightning Aug. 12 and burned 17 days, covering more than 315,000 acres of high desert, most of it public land managed by the
BLM in Lassen and Washoe counties.  It burned parts of nine livestock grazing allotments important for local ranchers, affected important wildlife habitat, and burned in parts of the Twin Peaks and Buckhorn wild horse and burro herd management areas.

Photo on our BLM California Facebook page: A rangeland drill, pulled by a bulldozer, moves across a charred landscape, dropping a mix of native grass seed.


Northern California District   355 Hemsted Dr.      Redding, CA 96002  

Last updated: 12-04-2012