The area ravaged by the Waldo Canyon Fire is slowly beginning to recover.
Eleven months after the fire, the U.S. Forest Service says they're impressed with how the landscape is growing.
Efforts have been taken in the past several months to reduce flooding and restore vegetation to the burn scar. More than $5 million has been spent on Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) treatments, including aerial mulching, removal of hazardous trees and debris, noxious weed treatment, and storm-proofing roads and trails. Though still a long ways to go, images released by USFS show greenery is gradually coming back in some spots.
"It's a long healing process and will occur over a decade," Jeff Hovernale with USFS said. "[This] illustrates the initial work that has taken place."
Rampart Reservoir, which opened to the public May 24, was the first major recreational area to reopen. Bright green grass could be seen in some portions of the burn area, starkly contrasting with the charred trees along the trail. Other areas near the reservoir remained void of any vegetation.
Treatment and further restoration efforts are continuing in the burn area. The USFS says they are working to make closed recreational areas safe for eventual use by the public.