MEDFORD, Ore. — If you hear or see an unusual amount of activity in the air over the next few days, it (hopefully) will not be the response to a new wildfire — instead, it will be part of the recovery process from the fires of September.
Jackson County has employed helicopters to re-seed the Bear Creek Greenway from the air, beginning on Monday morning. Efforts begin in Central Point — where several smaller brush fires spread during the Almeda Fire — before gradually working south. The entire air operation is expected to last for three days.
"This is an important step to continue the effort to restore the Bear Creek Greenway," said Steve Lambert with the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center. "Jackson County Sheriff's Office is leading the effort and will be clearing the way ahead of the seeding to make sure everyone is safe."
The trail will be temporarily closed in areas while the reseeding is going on.
Helicopters will be spreading a seed blend that Jackson County says came recommended by local botanists, both for quick growth and for stabilizing the damaged soil, while not introducing invasive species or contributing to the perennial problem of dry summer fuels.
Restoration along the Bear Creek Greenway is an ongoing effort, with more steps to come. Those include more "intensive" erosion control from Lomakatsi Restoration, hydroseeding steep slopes from Rogue Valley Sewer Systems, and the involvement of both state and federal agencies.
S.O.F. Air, Inc. is helping reseed the Bear Creek greenway following the Almeda Fire via helicopter.
Here is the helicopter taking off near the Costco: pic.twitter.com/2gDsfwyqPj
— Josh Shelton (@JoshSheltonLive) October 19, 2020