Calif. Wildfire Shuts Down Campground Areas

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May 8, 2013 by   Comments Off on Calif. Wildfire Shuts Down Campground Areas

Campgrounds and trails remain closed at Point Mugu State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains after the Springs fire last week cut a blazing path from Newbury Park to Pacific Coast Highway, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Popular campgrounds at Sycamore Cove and Thornhill Broome Beach, accessed by Pacific Coast Highway, are to be closed until later in May, officials said.

ReserveAmerica, the service that handles campground reservations, has been informing campers who had booked sites about the closure and refunding their money.

The fire burned 12,000 acres of the state park’s almost 14,000 acres, Craig Sap, Angeles District superintendent for California State Parks, said Tuesday (May 7). Trails remain closed from the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa entrance near Newbury Park to the lush canyon trails leading south to the ocean. Preliminary damage for the state park is estimated at $300,000, Sap said.

The electrical distribution system at Sycamore Cove campground, which has more than 50 campsites, was damaged and needs to be repaired before it can reopen, though picnic tables and bathrooms were unscathed, Sap said.

“Hopefully we’ll be open by Memorial Day,” he said.

Thornhill Broome wasn’t damaged, but Sap said the water was being checked for contamination as a result of the fire. It may reopen sooner than late May. The walk-in campground at La Jolla Valley and back-country access remain closed too.

Crews have been and will continue to be out checking trails. “We’re in assessment mode, more or less,” Sap said. “We need to do assessments with regards to rock fall and tree hazards around trails.”

Day-use areas such as Mugu Beach on the ocean-facing side of the park are open.

And when the popular La Jolla Valley and Sycamore Canyon trails do reopen, hikers and visitors will have to tread carefully in the burn area. “When we reopen, we’ll ask that people really stay on the trail,” he said.

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