Mendocino National Forest plans to use herbicides and hand tools to remove and control invasive broom plants now sprouting in the footprint of the Ranch fire, which in 2018 scorched about 288,000 acres in the sprawling forest that spans Lake, Glenn and Colusa counties.

The U.S. Forest Service, which manages the rugged woodlands, says the broom treatment project needs to start in spring to prevent regrowth of Scotch, Spanish and French broom plants, which can form impenetrable thickets and constitute a wildfire hazard, said Punky Moore, a Mendocino National Forest spokeswoman.

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