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May 17, 2011 > LA-area forest reopens 98,000 acres burned in 2009

LA-area forest reopens 98,000 acres burned in 2009

Submitted By AP Wire Service

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP), May 13 - About 98,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest that burned in the largest fire in Los Angeles County will reopen next week after months of restoration.

Campgrounds, picnic areas and more than 100 miles of hiking trails in the huge forest in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles will welcome visitors Monday in time for the Memorial Day weekend, according to a U.S. Forest Service statement.

The entire 36,000-acre San Gabriel Wilderness Area and a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail also will be reopened.

The wildfire in August 2009 was an arson blaze burned across more than 161,000 acres of land, destroyed 89 homes and killed two firefighters when their fire truck tumbled off a road as flames closed in. It was not fully contained until mid-October.

Subsequent rainstorms unleashed debris flows from denuded slopes that damaged or destroyed some foothill homes, while forcing repeated evacuations.

No one has been charged with setting the fire.

Volunteers and Forest Service workers removed weeds, planted trees and restored trails in the wake of the blaze. Thousands of acres, mainly in Big Tujunga Canyon, however, will remain closed. A multimillion-dollar effort to plant millions of trees and restore that area is under way.

The areas being reopened include:

- Indian Canyon Trailhead.

- Charlton Flat Picnic Area.

- Gould Mesa Campground.

- Bear Canyon Trail.

- Paul Little Picnic Area.

- Mill Creek Summit Picnic Area.

- Silver Moccasin Trail.

- Nature's Canteen Trail.

- Sunset Ridge Trail.

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