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KETCHUM -- Rehabilitation work began Thursday in areas heavily damaged by this summer's Beaver Creek Fire.

Aerial seeding and mulching will help to stabilize scorched land west of Hailey and Ketchum, officials said.

Straw mulch will be aerially applied by helicopter to more than 1,300 acres of forest land and 440 acres of rangeland. Officials say 5,800 acres will be aerially seeded.

Those treatments are expected to take about four days to complete.

The snow is already too deep in the higher elevation mulch treatment areas and will be scheduled for completion next spring, according to managers.

Since winter is rapidly approaching, not all of the project treatments will be completed this fall, said District Ranger Kurt Nelson.

A number of stabilization projects have been ongoing since the Beaver Creek Fire was declared controlled in September.

The fire scorched some 111,000 acres and forced the evacuation of thousands of residents in the Wood River Valley.

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