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Many Campgrounds Charred in Southern Cal Fire

September 14, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

Fire crews have contained the Station Fire to 87%, up six points since Friday evening and are optimistic the fire will be knocked down soon, according to the LAist.com. However, officials have extended the expected containment date  to Saturday. Acreage burned still stands at 160,557, or over 250 square miles.

Over 12,000 homes were threatened at the height of the blaze with over 50 destroyed, including some owned by firefighters. As for recreational uses — hiking, camping — no official list has been tabulated yet, but here’s what  the Pasadena Star-News reported:

  • The burn area includes 13 campgrounds and 11 picnic areas, but their conditions are unknown at this point.
  • The Switzer Picnic Area appears to be saved because trees are still standing. However, the area leading to there, some hiking trails and the immediate surroundings might not be.
  • The Chilao Campground, Charlton Flat and Devil’s Canyon has some vegetation and trees left, “but the area has hardly been spared,” says the paper.
  • Although not open yet, popular hiking areas like Echo Mountain, Henninger Flats, Chantry Flats are okay, but remain off-limits at the moment.

Futhermore, the whole forest is officially closed until Angeles National Forest authorities reopen it to the public. That said, the Forest Service does hope the reopening is within weeks, not months or years.

Right now the Burned Area Emergency Response Team (BAER Team) is assessing the aftermath, says Casey Schreiner at Modern Hiker. The team will look at the biological, archaeological and recreational, among other resources, that have been impacted. A report is expected soon. After that, Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Works will look at the flood-control systems in the forest.

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