Teams continue wildfire mitigation work in Parley’s Canyon
SALT LAKE CITY — Environmental teams on a variety of municipal levels continue to work this month to mitigate the risk of a catastrophic wildfire in Parley’s Canyon.
The importance of this effort was amplified after last year’s fire in the canyon. Along with mitigation efforts, crews are looking for the potential fuel sources that could make a fire worse.
“If we had a large catastrophic wildfire, it could introduce pollutants into the water system and basically make this water not reliable for safe drinking,” said Laura Briefer, director of the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities.
Specifically, a large wildfire could add debris to, and cause other problems for, a watershed relied on by nearly 365,000 people.
Overgrowth of oak brush in the canyon is one area crews are tackling, and they’re using a relatively new process called mulching to thin potential fire debris.
Mulching involves grinding flammable materials found on a forest floor and leaving the resulting mulch instead of hauling it away. The mulch is created by a “hydro axe” and then fed through a wood chipper.
The latest mulching project will start on Oct. 20 and will last between three and four weeks.
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