San Miguel Island to remain closed for at least another year

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San Miguel Island, part of Channel Islands National Park, will remain closed to the public for at least another year due to concerns for public safety.

The island was used as a bombing range after World War II. Because the Navy doesn't have documentation that details clean up at the island, officials are concerned there may be unexploded bombs or mortars there. 

Kimberly Gearhart is a spokeswoman for Naval Base Ventura County. She says to determine the level of risk, they will first search through historical archives to see what kinds of explosives were dropped and where. 

"Ground-penetrating radar, sonar, lidar, those sorts of things are a second step if the archival search comes in and says it looks like we really hard-core shelled this part of the island, we need to go in and look," Gearhart told KPCC. 

San Miguel Island has been closed to the public since April. The Navy says it decided to conduct a risk assessment after the National Park Service approached them last fall about expanding camping access on the island.

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