NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — Land management officials say they have begun reseeding the giant burned area along the Idaho-Oregon border where a wildfire scorched valuable sage grouse habitat and grasslands needed by ranchers.

KIVI-TV reports that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has started drilling grass, forbs and shrub seeds into the ground. The agency plans on dispersing 2.4 million pounds of seed. Cindy Fritz, a natural resource specialist for the BLM, says that reseeding will help reduce the spread of invasive grass species.

However, she added that it will take at least 15 years for the area to return to normal. The fire earlier this summer charred a 443-square-mile area, often fueled by invasive cheatgrass and burning up to 125 square miles in a day. It easily leapt fire lines put down by retardant bombers.