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Station Fire: Reforestation effort under way for burn area

August 2, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Charred pinecones cling defiantly to a stand of blackened trees above Highway 2 in the Angeles National Forest. While the remnants of the Station Fire are easy to find, there is re-birth under way three years after Los Angeles County's largest wildfire swept through the canyons.

"It's coming back, but it still needs some help, and that's why we have this campaign here locally to make sure that we have people involved," said Edward Belden with the National Forest Foundation.

The foundation is the non-profit partner of the U.S. Forest Service. Through the foundation's Treasured Landscapes Program, volunteers are working to repair the damage caused by the Station Fire.

"We're seeing a lot of recovery in the area. Much of that is the shrubs that are coming back," said Belden.

The best evidence of a comeback can be found at Big Tujunga Creek.

"There's a lot of endangered species in the creeks here, from Arroyo toads to some of the fish species that need a chance," said Belden.

This campaign isn't only focused on re-planting vegetation; volunteers are also working to remove some of the weeds that don't belong there in the first place.

"We have some projects to try to eradicate those weeds for 75 miles of the waterways within the Big Tujunga wash," said Belden.

While most of the new reforestation will be done in the fall, the Treasured Landscapes Program is also working to restore trails and clean trash from camp sites.

The Station Fire devoured more than 160,000 acres and destroyed 89 homes in August 2009. But in time, Belden says, the landscape will heal.

For more information about the National Forest Foundation, visit www.friendsoftheforest.org.

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