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Articles

Rejuvenation already under way

010418 pvh thomas fire sprout
Ojai Valley News photo by Perry Van Houten
A plant sprouts in Matilija Canyon one month after the fire.
Perry Van Houten, Ojai Valley News reporter
With the Thomas Fire nearing full containment, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has begun work to repair and restore the landscape, and plan for post-fire risks.
The rehabilitation effort involves three phases: rapid assessments, suppression repair and natural succession.
Assessments by a specialized Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team and Watershed Emergency Response Team (WERT) begin as soon as burned areas can be safely accessed.
"It's a short, intense phase of the process," said BAER program manager Jeff TenPas. "The purpose is to take a look at the burned watershed and make a rapid assessment of what the risk is to people and properties downstream."

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