Recent wildfires scorched 90% of the federally protected Santa Monica Mountains – destroying a 1950s Hollywood set and affecting biodiversity. But life is slowly coming back

The fire came quickly. Fueled by dry, blustering winds, officials were unable to contain the Woolsey fire before it scorched the canyons of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, taking close to 97,000 acres and 1,500 properties with it.

One of the great casualties was the Santa Monica Mountains national recreation area. Nearly 90% of the federally owned land burned in the November 2018 blaze. The park is home to popular hiking trails, a rich ecosystem of plant and wildlife, including mountain lions and coyotes, as well as famous spots such as the Paramount Ranch’s “Western Town” (a well-known Hollywood set location), the historic 1927 Peter Strauss Ranch house, a research field station and ranger residences. Nearly all of them burned to the ground.

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