It’s the largest urban national park in the world, at 156,000 acres. But, the Woolsey Fire has left a huge chunk of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area closed. The National Park Service owns 23,000 acres of the land in the park, mostly between Highway 101 and the coast. Most of it was burned by the huge brush fire.
David Szymanski is Superintendent of the National Recreation area. He says the impacts on wildlife are still being assessed, although thanks to radio tracking collars, we know that the mountain lion population came through the blaze in good shape.
But, one of the ways the public knows the park best, its trails, has been hard it. The large burn area means most of the trails in National Park owned areas of the National Recreation area are closed. A few are open, including one of the most popular trails in the park, Ranch Sierra Vista.
Besides a number of trails being shut down, also closed indefinitely in the National Recreation area are the Paramount Ranch, and the park’s Visitor Center at King Gillette Ranch.