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'Facing A Ticking Clock': Crews Prep Caldor Fire Burn Scar Ahead Of Anticipated Storms

MORMON IMMIGRANT TRAIL (CBS13) - Storm prep was underway along the Caldor Fire burn scar, where rain can lead to mudslides and debris flows in high-burn areas.

Crews were working on more than 400 miles of suppression line that needs to be repaired. More than 40 percent has been completed so far.

It's a choreographed dance for fire and forest service crews behind the dozers on the repair lines.

There is an immense task ahead as clean up continues along the burn scar on Mormon Immigrant Trail. Crews are working together in the race against time and mother nature.

"The heavy predicted rains this week has us concerned, but were going to keep working as long as we can," said Paul Naman Service Repair Supervisor with the NMT Repair Group.

While expected storms later this week could mean a near end to fire season, downpours could also cause mud and debris flows in high burn areas. That means dangerous conditions for dozers ahead of the storm.

Other crews on the line lay fallen trees across dozer lines to hold soil in place and place straw tubing called "wattles" along streams and steep hillsides to prevent debris from washing into waterway.

"Erosion is one of the prominent threats following a wildfire," said Sarah Wheeler, Public Information Officer on the Caldor Fire.

"It's always a concern on steeper slopes you're going to get run off and mudslides and all that," said Naman.

Paul Naman says with essentially no transition period between severe fire season and wet weather, it doesn't give repair crews a lot of time to work safely.

"With late season fires we're always facing a ticking clock with winter," said Naman.

Crews call it a game of chess, moving equipment to finish work before the rain comes.

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