DENVER -

Congress is considering a request for $20 million for projects to prevent erosion after thousands of acres of land in Colorado were blackened by wildfires last year.

The effort to secure Emergency Watershed Protection funds before the early summer rains arrive includes pleas from local officials and an email campaign with photos of washed-over roads and rivers covered with black water.

According to the Denver Post, about 44,000 acres of non-federal land charred by the High Park fire west of Fort Collins needs mulching and seeding so it doesn't erode. In Colorado Springs, Mayor Steve Bach says a summer rainstorm there could be devastating as a result of the Waldo Canyon fire, which burned 346 homes and scorched 28 square miles.