2 years after Station Fire, Southland students, crews help restore burn areas

Mercer 20603

Corey Moore/KPCC

Project leader Brian Hill, 26, clears away shrubbery at Angeles National Forest. Hill led high school students on a cleanup effort during the summer.

Two years ago today the Station Fire began in the Angeles National Forest, scorching over 160,000 acres, killing two firefighters, and destroying dozens of homes. Since then, high school and college students have joined crews to help restore burned areas in Angeles National Forest.

Members of the national Student Conservation Association gathered Friday in a picnic area along Big Tujunga Canyon Road to show some of their results.

Program director Jay Watson said the space - where fire swept through and ravaged acres of forest - looks much different now.

“There was a lot of soil and rock and stuff that had washed off the hillside here and kind of had buried stuff," said Watson. "So... we dug out fire pits and barbecues and repainted picnic tables and repainted buildings.”

Workers spent the summer clearing 50 miles of trails and campgrounds in the forest. Alumni from the student conservation program make up more than 10 percent of the National Park Service workforce.

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