Springs Fire Prompts Trail Closures in Santa Monica Mountains

The Ranch Overlook Trail at Rancho Sierra Vista. | Photo: Courtesy National Park Service[Update, 8:25 p.m., May 4: Trails east of Yerba Buena Road, including the Grotto Trail at Circle X, will reopen Sunday morning. Areas west, such as the Mishe Mowka to Sandstone Peak will stay closed. The fire's size remains at 28,000 acres, but containment has increased to 56 percent.]

[Update, 12:15 p.m., May 4: As of this morning, the fire remained at 28,000 acres, but containment increased to 30 percent. Full containment is expected on Monday.]

A wildfire that has quickly spread within the western Santa Monica Mountains forced the closure of trails and park areas today. The Springs Fire, named after its starting point off the 101 Freeway at Camarillo Springs Road, had charred 28,000 acres in less than 48 hours, as of 10 p.m. Friday. Crews set containment at 20 percent.

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Closures include Point Mugu State Park, Rancho Sierra Vista, and Circle X Ranch, according to spokespeople for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. That means popular recreation routes like Sycamore Canyon Fire Road, Mishe Mowka Trail (to the top of Sandstone Peak), and a good portion of the Backbone Trail (west from Encinal Canyon Road), among many others, are closed. The Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center will also be closed throughout the weekend.

However, Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyons, a unit of the National Park Service in the Simi Hills several miles away and north of the 101 Freeway, would open Saturday morning, according to Mike Wilson, a fire spokesman for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. They were closed Thursday as a precautionary measure.

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About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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