KEYT-TV – Signs of life after Thomas Fire

AG_News_Rick - Agromin
Ventura Botanical Gardens experiencing bloom

By: KEYT-TV Newsroom Staff
Posted: Jan 31, 2018


It might appear charred and lifeless at the Ventura Botanical Gardens following the Thomas Fire that ravaged the area, but it’s not all bad news. The flames actually helped create healthier soil and plants are starting to show signs of existence once again.

On average, more than 3,000 people a week would visit the gardens for its beauty and incredible sights. Since the fire, however, it’s been closed for repairs. Crews are working to make the gardens safe for visitors again.

Rick Wilson, who is known as the soil doctor at Agromin, says the char residue along the hillsides is not all bad and is known as Biochar.

“This material carbonizes and turns into gratified material and it holds on to nutrients and it holds on to water and that is what is going to enable the plants to do well and actually be more robust in the future when it comes to droughts and so out of something bad, something good is going to happen.

The soil is going to be healthier,” said Wilson, Chief Technology Officer at Agromin.

The issue after a fire is erosion, and so Wilson donated a truckload of mulch, which will cover several aces to help prevent potential mudslides.

“Our goal is to revegetate this area as quickly as possible. To do that we put a mulch cover down and it will hold moisture down and create an environment and enable plants to grow, ” said Wilson. “I think 10 years from now you?re going to see this area more ascetically pleasing.”

Watch the original broadcast here.

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