BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. Forest Service officials say helicopters have been dropping weed-free wheat straw in areas of the Boise National Forest damaged by last year's Trinity Ridge fire. Project coordinator Terry Hardy says the helicopters have worked nine days dropping 1,000-pound straw bales.

Hardy says more than 1,000 tons of straw are being used to cover about 1,200 acres. The work was expected to be finished Sunday at a cost of $800,000. Hardy says the emergency rehabilitation project will reduce risks of erosion and flash flooding.

Other rehabilitation work that started last fall will continue this summer to repair recreation trails and improve culvert road crossings. The Trinity Ridge fire started on Aug. 3 and burned nearly 229 square miles, including popular recreation spots.