Caughlin Fire Erosion Project Could Take Years

Reno ( & KRNV) - It's a race against time and mother nature for Caughlin Fire restoration crews. Rehab teams are searching for ways to repair the landscape, on the heels of damaging future winter storms.

Black scars roll over Reno's hills where the blaze roared on Friday.

The already dry landscape is even more crisp now and at risk of a new natural disaster.

Kyle West, Fire Restoration Incident Commander, tells News 4 his teams are actively monitoring the area.

"Our biggest concern is the fact that without the vegetation in place, it allows the water to flow across the surface," West said.

Increased moisture and run-off from winter storms could fuel mudslides. The heat from the fire causes the soil to repel water. Rehab teams are hitting the hills to prevent erosion.

"We've got some that are out there starting to evaluate where our problem areas are," West said.

West and his crews are focusing on four areas, the Manzanita Drainage, McCarran Blvd., Evans Creek and around Lakeside Drive-Windy Hill.

"They're identifying ditches that may be filled with debris," he said.

Teams are also looking for spots to place rocks and bails of hay, to prevent flooding. But even with an early start, it looks like this project could last months, even years, before the hills come back to life.

There's an emergency number you can call to report flooding or debris issues. It is 775.352.4249. Crews will be on call over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.