The Woolsey fire burned about 83% of national park land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a stunning loss of a cherished open space area for Southern California.
The Santa Monica Mountains, which stretch from Hollywood Hills to Point Mugu in Ventura County, have long offered Southern Californians a respite from the city below with the range’s array of hiking trails, waterfalls and rock pools. And its sprawling ranch land has given Hollywood real-world ties to the frontier life it exhaustively depicted on screen.
The Woolsey fire destroyed more than 400 structures but also took a deep toll on landmark areas of the mountain areas.
Firefighters battling the Woolsey fire responded Tuesday morning to a flare-up in Carlisle Canyon, the Boney Mountain area and Lake Sherwood, an unincorporated community in the Santa Monica mountains.
Officials are asking residents to be prepared to evacuate as winds pick up. A red flag warning was extended through Wednesday evening. Road closures are expected in the Yerba Buena area.
Brian McGrath, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said multiple fire engines, air tankers and helicopters are responding to the fire, which has sent thick plumes of white smoke into the area. McGrath encouraged residents to stay away.
President Trump approved a disaster declaration for California, making federal funding available for the recovery efforts of Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties after the disastrous Camp and Woolsey fires scorched hundreds of homes.
The Camp fire destroyed the town of Paradise in Butte County, burning through 125,000 acres and more than 6,500 homes, according to Cal Fire. In Southern California, the Woolsey fire has grown to 96, 314 acres and destroyed 435 structures.
Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a statement Tuesday that federal funding can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.
“Federal funding is also available to the state, tribal, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties,” FEMA said.
Business and home owners can apply for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 1-800-621- 3362 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
I just approved an expedited request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of California. Wanted to respond quickly in order to alleviate some of the incredible suffering going on. I am with you all the way. God Bless all of the victims and families affected.
The Woolsey fire has scorched 96,314 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and was 35% contained as of Tuesday morning, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials.
The boost in containment overnight comes as firefighters prepare for the second consecutive day of Santa Ana winds.
Northeast winds are expected to blow 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 55 mph in Los Angeles, according to the National Weather Service.
Anthropologists from Cal State Chico and the University of Nevada, Reno with expertise in identifying human remains were helping in the grim search effort into mass casualties in Paradise, where at least 42 have died in California’s worst fire.
In addition, the Butte County Sheriff’s Department has requested 150 additional search and recovery workers, two military mobile morgues and a rapid DNA identification system.
One search crew checking addresses of people reported missing found a body on the front steps of a burned-out trailer in the Ridgewood Mobile Home Park. Team members spent the rest of the day picking their way through debris, turning over metal frames and shattered furniture.