As fire crews deal with the aftermath of the Rockport wildfire, $500,000 dollars in federal Emergency Watershed Protection has been approved and is available. Mudslides are a common problem following this kind of wildfire devastation. The Summit County Public Works Director, Kevin Callahan, is also the County’s Emergency Manager. He says he talked last week with officials from U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We got a call back within a day saying they’d found a half million dollars available for us in their federal agency. And then the Department of Natural Resources at the state, in anticipating these kinds of fire events and the need to re-seed, had also acquired quite a bit of seed," says Callahan. "And they could provide the 25 percent match that’s required."
Callahan says despite the disaster it’s been very heartening to have the various local, state and federal agencies work together to set this program up. He says he hopes to have seed drops by air within a month so the seeds can establish before winter hits.