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Cleveland National Forest Reopening to Public


Aired 4/19/09

In the aftermath of last fall's wildfires in San Diego, the Forest Service restricted access to large parts of the Cleveland National Forest. Now, almost 6 months later, many of the sections are reopening to the public. Reporter David Nogueras has more.

For the first time since October's wildfires, the public will be allowed back into the Witch, Poomacha, and Harris Fire Areas.

After the fires were extinguished, the Forest Service kept that land closed to give it time to generate itself.

Brian Harris is a spokesman at Forest Service. He says despite the extensive damage, the land is beginning to recover as new vegetation takes root.

Harris: I was just out there a few days ago. The Wildflowers are out there are are just absolutely beautiful out there so I really do strongly encourage the people to head out there this weekend, take a look at the Cleveland National Forrest and just enjoy themselves.

Visitors are still not able to access the Santiago Fire Area. Harris says the Forest Service is still working on that site. He says they've already spent 900 thousand dollars to reopen the land to the public. He says they expect to spend an additional $7 million in the next five months.

For KPBS, I'm David Nogueras.

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