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Water Board Rushing To Prevent Carr Fire Debris From Entering Waterways

State officials say they’re racing against coming rains to take action on vital erosion control measures in areas near the Sacramento River devastated by the Carr Fire. The State Water Board wants to fast-track erosion control projects on five key creeks near Keswick Dam. To get that work done, they plan to use $2.3 Million in state grant funding and they’re seeking another $6.4 million in federal funding. There’s a possibility that El Nino-like conditions could bring above-average rainfall this winter, and that could mean another form of devastation for the already fire-ravaged landscape. The key, according to the board, is to do some massive planting of native seeds now so roots can develop quickly enough to hold soils in place. There’s really no other way to prevent huge amounts of sediment and chemical compounds from sliding into streams and eventually the Sacramento River. In addition to a permanently scarred and barren landscape, such a flood of muck into the river could bring the already threatened Winter Run Chinook Salmon much closer to extinction. That population has gone from more than 32,000 in 2013 to just 800 last year. In the next few weeks the State Water Board will work with the Western Shasta Resource Conservation District to begin erosion control techniques to stabilize soils on about 1640 acres of sloping terrain. Private landowners need to agree, and all the work on private property will be free of charge. The waterways considered most in peril are Rock, Middle, Salt, Jenny and Carter Creeks.