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Article updated: 9/6/2013 6:35 PM

Federal teams headed to Rim Fire to assess damage

A Hotshot fire crew member rests Wednesday near a controlled burn operation at Horseshoe Meadows, as crews continue to fight the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park.

A Hotshot fire crew member rests Wednesday near a controlled burn operation at Horseshoe Meadows, as crews continue to fight the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park.

 

Associated Press

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By Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A team of federal scientists is assembling near a fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park to begin the critical work of protecting habitat and waterways from erosion before the fall rainy season begins.

Alex Janicki of the Burned Area Emergency Response Team said Friday that scientists will pay special attention to 5 square miles of scorched ground in the watershed of the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, the source of drinking water for 2.8 million Bay Area residents.

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The inferno that started Aug. 17 when a hunter's illegal fire swept out of control has burned 385 square miles of timber, meadows and sensitive wildlife habitat.

The scientist will study terrain to determine where damage might occur from storm runoff then use mulch and native plantings to minimize impact.

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