MALIBU—Malibu’s Charmlee Wilderness Park has re-opened after a fire closure due to the Woolsey Fire in 2018.
Monday, October 19, 2020, marked the official opening for the park which is located on 532 acres of Santa Monica Mountains. Park hours are 8 a.m. to sunset seven days a week. The park features picnic areas, eight mile hiking trails, and native plant displays throughout its paths.
”The number of visitors has increased daily since Monday’s opening. The City has received positive feedback through social media and interactions with visitors who have been to the park this week,” said Kristin Riesgo Community Services Deputy Director.
The Woolsey Fire is responsible for destroying more acres than any other fire previously recorded.
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area recorded 88 percent of the wilderness park burned during the natural disaster. Out of 23,595 acres, 21,000 acres vanished as the fire started near Santa Susana Field Laboratory near Los Angeles and Ventura County. The Santa Ana Winds blew the fire south causing the blaze to cross the 101 freeway between San Fernando and Conejo Valley landing in the Santa Monica Mountains. The fire lasted three days and killed three people.
Since the fire, the Malibu City Council proposed a resolution to help preserve wildlife. As of June 2019, the Earth Friendly Management Policy went into effect. The policy prohibits the use of any synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides like herbicides, insecticides, and/or rodenticides on any city-owned, managed, or leased property.
The repairs to Charmlee Wilderness Park began on June 3, 2020. Some of the trails may not be available at this time, while trail crews remain on site and is expected to stay until the fall improving the city’s trail systems.
“The restoration was challenging when the City started the project due to the amount of time dedicated to mapping trails, mitigating erosion, and clearing trails. City staff has seen wildlife at the park such as lizards, rabbits, hawks, snakes, and other native wildlife” said Riesgo Community Services Deputy Director.