On Sunday, June 26th, a brushfire began in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park near the Laguna Ridge Trail, leading to closures of both Laguna Coast and Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Parks. Firefighters fought to contain and put out the fire, and both parks were open again by Thursday, June 30th – but not before 50 acres had been burned.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. While all of us at LCF and OC Parks are devastated by the fire and the loss of habitat and hours of trailwork it represents, we are determined to minimize its effects – and we need your help!
How can I help?
The most important thing you can do to help is to stay out of the burn area. While it’s true that the Laguna Ridge Trail passes through the burn area, we ask that you refrain from using the trail until it is officially reopened. With the vegetation gone, it can be difficult to recognize the difference between trail and sensitive, burned habitat. Left alone, much of the fire-adapted vegetation in the burned area will resprout from root stock or germinate from burned-over seed. Trampling can damage this new vegetation and create long-lasting damage due to erosion and soil compaction. Please help ensure our park makes a speedy recovery by giving it the time and space it needs for vegetation to regrow.
Since the fire, we have found cigarette butts, used matches, and firework debris in the parks. Remember that smoking and setting off fireworks is not allowed within the parks! Even a small spark can set a blaze; a moment’s carelessness or a cigarette not fully snuffed out can mean days of dangerous work for our fire department, dozens of acres burned, and a habitat recovery process that can take years. Be safe, take care of our open space, and do not smoke, light fires, or set off fireworks within the parks.
Thank you for helping us Protect What You Love!