THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — One year after the Woolsey Fire damaged 112 miles of trails and 88 percent of federal park land in the Santa Monica Mountains, a second phase of the recovery effort is poised to begin. Strict environmental rules govern the treatment of contaminated sites.
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“Since all buildings have toxins in them when they burn, testing for hazardous materials is a critical step that must be taken prior to the removal of any of the debris,” Park Superintendent David Szymanski said. “As caretakers for the public’s lands, we are required to guarantee that all toxins have been removed. We can’t just use our park equipment and haul everything off.”
When the testing process is completed early next year, debris will be removed from the 30 structures and outbuildings, starting sometime in the spring of 2020.READ MORE: Lawmaker Calls For Change On California Film Sets After Prop-Gun Shooting Death Of Halyna Hutchins By Alec Baldwin
The park is focused on reopening trails and park sites. Over the past year, park rangers worked to open trails, clear roads, stabilize hillsides, repair culverts and conduct surveys on bridges that were in need of repair. Currently, 103 miles of the 112 that were burned have reopened. In addition, 1,000 acres of invasive plants were treated.MORE NEWS: Inland Empire Commuters Dealing With Wet And Dangerous Road Conditions