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Crews from state and county work to protect important watersheds

Crews from the state and the county are rushing to keep toxic materials from the North Complex Fire out of important waterways.

Posted: Oct 22, 2020 11:26 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:26 AM

BERRY CREEK, Calif. - Five California Conservation Corps (CCC) crews are assisting Butte County Public Works and Department of Water Resources in making sure that the watershed is protected from potential rain water run-off from homes burned in the North Complex Fire.

“Right now, we are out here digging little trenches for the wattles and staking them in to prevent erosion and chemicals from getting into our watershed,” said CCC member, John Alviso. 

CCC agency rep and task force leader, Benjamin Herbert, said that when it rains, wattles will absorb toxic materials and prevent these toxic materials from reaching important water resources.

“Ultimately, water is the center of our life and so we need to protect our watersheds by any means," said Herbert. "All of this flows down into this lake which flows down in the Oroville lake and reservoir and that is one of our missions is protection of our environment.”

“It is critically important that we stay invested in this," said Northern Branch Director for CAL OES, Cole Glenwright. "We stay invested in the long-term recovery. Cal OES works with the county and experts from a number of state agents to identify priority risk areas where we can best assist, and this was a priority area.”

Glenwright said that they plan to bring in other resources in efforts to help protect the watersheds.

“We will have a number of more significant recovery operations on the ground here," said Glenwright. "We will continue to coordinate with our federal and county partners.”

He that they requested and ordered 50-thousand linear feet of wattles and have received the wattles from their partners at the Department of General Resources in California.

The CCC said they will be bringing in other resources over the next couple of days in efforts to protect these important watersheds.

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