Apache County Receives Additional Funds from NRCS for Wallow Fire Recovery
SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. July 26, 2011 – Severe flooding and erosion are serious threats to the communities impacted by the Wallow fire. To help reduce flooding and erosion damages, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing $90,300 of additional financial help to Apache County through its Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP).
Total project funds are $120,400. Seventy-five percent of the financial assistance is provided through EWP, and Apache County is providing the remaining 25 percent. NRCS administers the EWP Program, which responds to emergencies created by natural disasters, such as wildfires and floods. Funding for the program is provided through emergency congressional appropriations.
Earlier in July, NRCS and Apache County funded recovery projects in the northern Wallow fire area totaling approximately $400,000. Apache County requested and was provided further assistance to implement additional flood and erosion protection to the Alpine and adjacent areas. The county began installing these treatments on July 25. Some of the most common measures for flood mitigation are sandbags, concrete barriers and ditch clearing/widening to assist in flood control.
Sandbags are a simple yet highly effective way to prevent or reduce flood water damage around your home. Properly filled and placed sandbags act as a barrier to divert moving water, surface drainage and sediment around, instead of through, buildings. Through this method does not guarantee a water-tight seal, it does provide effective protection in most situations. Consult the Apache County Flood Preparedness Guide to locate staging areas of sandbags http://www.co.apache.az.us/PDFs/HealthDp/FloodGuide.pdf .
Fire recovery workshops, hosted by the Forest Service will be held on July 28, 2011. Information will be available on topics such as rehabilitation efforts; grazing; livestock and agriculture; watershed and forest restoration; community infrastructure; small business assistance; and housing and insurance. There will be an identical afternoon (2:00 – 4:30 p.m.) and evening session (6:00 – 8:30 p.m.) at Round Valley High School. Among the representatives at the workshops will be the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development, Farm Service Agency, FEMA, AZ State Forestry, AZ Division of Emergency Management, AZ Department of Agriculture and AZ Department of Insurance, and other county and local agency partners.
NRCS is also providing conservation planning to farmers and ranchers who have been impacted or are in close proximity to areas that were affected by the wildfire. Conservation planning is a fundamental starting point for maintaining and improving the natural resources that support a productive and profitable agricultural operation. Following a natural disaster, such as a wildfire, conservation planning can help restore the production of the land.
Apache County determines the sites receiving EWP assistance for the northern wallow fire area, due to their role as program sponsor. For more information about participating in EWP please contact Apache County Engineer, Ferrin Crosby, at (928) 337-7528. Contact your local field office in Springerville at 928-333-4941 for more information in receiving technical assistance on your property or visit www.az.nrcs.usda.gov.