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One Year Later: Inside the Woolsey Fire Burn Area

One year after vast portions of the picturesque landscape of Malibu were turned into a wasteland by the Woolsey Fire, both the environment and community are rebuilding.

While electrical wires in the hills devastated by one of California‘s most destructive wildfires on record are back up and running, many roads are still closed. Infrastructure is being repaired, the remnants of burned homes can still be seen, and several people who lost their homes are still homeless. 

“My best friend lost his home in Seminole Springs, he still lives with me,” said Jeremy Wolf, district director for California State Sen. Henry Stern. 

He said most of the community are moving on with their lives, but for many, the tragedy of the Woolsey Fire is not in the past.

“Every time this community hears Santa Ana winds in the weather forecast, we get scared,” he said. “There is still fear, people are scared.”

More than 1,600 structures were burned to the ground in the 97,00-acre fire that started in Ventura County and roared south in LA County on an unrelenting march to the coast.

Mulholland’s popular lookout, The Snake, is a snapshot of the vast area the Woolsey fire touched forever. One year ago, this vista was painted grey and black with ash, and looked more like the moon than Malibu.

Today, charred trees — so black they look borrowed from the set of a Beetlejuice film — dot the landscape. Small green patches can be seen, but what’s more noteworthy is all the golden yellow and brown. A reminder that invasive grasses, which covered this area in bright green during the rain that followed the fires, have died and dried out. Hundreds of acres are in the perfect state to catch fire again at the drop of an ember.

You can find the original article and video for Inside The Fire Zone here

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