Congress Considers Wildfire Replanting

(Denver-AP) -- State and federal agencies are hoping for quick approval from Congress for a plan to replant in the forest and stabilize slopes left barren by a wildfire in central Colorado.

Fire managers want to act quickly to prevent flooding and erosion when heavy summer rains hit. The trees and vegetation that would normally absorb a lot of the moisture are gone or badly damaged. Fire can also make soil nonabsorbent -- which means water will just roll down the slopes.

Congress must approve the plan because it exceeds the spending limit for that kind of work. The project could cost several million dollars.

In 1996, a wildfire stripped hillsides in the Buffalo Creek area. A flood two months later in the same area killed two people and destroyed houses.