All National Park Service property in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills has closed due to extreme fire danger until Tuesday, October 23, 2007. Strong Santa Ana wind conditions are forecast through that time, creating hazardous conditions and greatly increasing the likelihood of a wildland fire. âOur first priority is to ensure the safety of the public,â said Woody Smeck, superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. âThe risk of someone being trapped by a wildland fire or accidently starting one during this exceptionally dangerous weather is too high, and has forced us to act with caution.â
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning from early Sunday through Tuesday due to a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures, which can create explosive wildland fire spread potential.
The closure includes all parking lots, trailheads and trails. The Satwiwa Native American Culture Center will also be closed, as well as the contact stations at Circle X Ranch and Cheeseboro Canyon. However, the NPS Visitor Center in Thousand Oaks will remain open daily from 9am until 5pm. Fire and law enforcement personnel will be working extended hours patrolling the recreation area.
All California State Park lands in the Santa Monica Mountains are also closed for this time period, except for coastal beaches.
The National Park Service manages numerous sites throughout the national recreation area in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. These include:
Franklin Canyon Ranch
Peter Strauss Ranch
Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons
Ranch Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa
More information is available at www.nps.gov/samo. Visitors may also call the NPS Visitor Center at (805) 370-2301 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Media should contact 805-370-2364.