Hewlett Fire totally contained, restoration planning begins

The Hewlett Fire is now 100 percent contained, according to the last report from the incident team that has been battling the blaze north of the Poudre Canyon since May 14.

The report cautioned that although the fire is contained, smoke may be visible from hot spots within the perimeter for some time. About 200 personnel remain on scene working primarily on monitoring, mopping up and patrolling. The cost of fighting the fire that consumed more than 7,600 acres of forest land is estimated at $3.2 million.

As firefighting winds down, planning for restoring the burned national forest has begun. The U.S. Forest Service’s Burned Area Emergency Response team, which includes hydrologists, soil scientists, archeologists, engineers, biologists, recreation specialists and others, met on Tuesday to identify preliminary concerns within the burn area. The team will meet Wednesday with partners, including representatives from local water providers; the cities of Fort Collins and Greeley, which owns the Milton Seaman Reservoir on the eastern edge of the burned area; Colorado State Forest Service; and the Natural Resource Conservation Service, to discuss these organizations’ concerns.

BAER teams determine the impacts to human health and safety, property and cultural and natural resources of a major fire such as this one and how to proceed in its aftermath. Typical actions a BAER team can consider are reseeding, mulching, water control device installation (culverts, water bars, etc.), and/or placing warning signage.

For the latest information on the fire, call 970-498-1030 or check inciweb.org/incident/2863/. Updates from the BAER team will also be posted on inciweb.

And anyone who finds a black dog with a white chest in the area of the fire is asked to contact the Larimer Humane Society at 970-226-3647.

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