Jan 06, 2020

Rancho Cucamonga Freeway Fire Restoration


When more than 20 acres of land were burned in the California Freeway Fire, an emergency restoration project was deemed necessary. Daniel Reynaga, CPESC, QSD for Profile Products, said it is crucial to reestablish vegetation after wildfires to avoid any further land damage. 

So, a team worked toward multiple goals: establish sustainable vegetation to avoid post-burn dangers; apply the proper solution on the first try as it used public funds; amend the soil to create optimal growing conditions; and safely apply an erosion control product to hold seed and soil in place until germination. 

Hydrophobic conditions on the soil surface can lead to high erosion rates as a result of poor infiltration and debris flow. Because of this, the first step in the project was to conduct a soil test, which showed the site had low organic matter, between 1.5 and 2.2% daily. Reynaga said a site should have ideally more than 5% organic matter. Instead of bringing in topsoil or compost, the team decided to use biotic soil media, hydraulic erosion control products and soil analysis. Those, along with seed mix, were hydraulically applied together using one hydroseeding machine. 

"This project proves that these new technologies that are being developed are working with great success across the West Coast when it comes to emergency fire work and producing sustainable vegetation,” Reynaga said. 

Using one hydroseeding machine cut down the time and labor it would have taken to apply the solution with incorporated compost. 

The project was deemed a success, and within three months, the site was covered in a blanket of purple and yellow wildflowers. 

Project Year:
Contractor: McLoughlin Engineering Co. Inc., Pacific Restoration Group Inc. and Stover Seed Company
Designers: Caltrans District 8 Landscape Architect
Owner: Caltrans District 8

Location: Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Cost: $75,000
Size: 20 acres