Since my usual after-work running trails at Griffith Park are closed for the indefinite future while post-wildfire restoration plans develop and take root, I thought I'd spend this afternoon running on trails that were affected by fire almost two years ago, above the cities of Burbank and Glendale, in Wildwood Canyon.
Those of you who lived in Los Angeles in September and October of 2005 remember it as a time not unlike this one: fires were burning all across southern California. The Woodhouse fire burned more than 6,000 acres in Riverside County; the Topanga fire burned nearly 25,000 acres in and around the Chatsworth area; and the Blaisdell fire charred more than 5,000 acres of steep hillsides outside Palm Springs. And that's only counting the big ones: 17 wildfires of various sizes burned in Southern California in September and October of 2005.
This photo was taken by KABC-TV during the Wildwood Canyon fire of 2005, which broke out on September 29 and was finally squelched five days later.
Today, nineteen months later, I took these photos of the Wildwood Canyon area. Charred branches covering the hillsides are a reminder of the destruction the fire wrought, but the ground is now carpeted with lush grasses. Wildflowers are out in full bloom, flush with riotous color.
I'm still heartbroken about the fire in Griffith Park, but seeing the Wildwood Canyon hillsides covered with vibrant plant life is easing the sting somewhat.
See you on the trail!