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Hundreds expected for cleanup effort near Station fire burn area

Wearing gloves and armed with trash bags, volunteers plan a massive cleanup Saturday near areas of the Angeles National Forest damaged by the Station fire.

The one-day effort will focus on a two-mile area not directly affected by the fire but surrounded by devastation from the 251-square-mile blaze, said Rhonda Glasscock, corporate contributions manager for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., which is sponsoring the event.

The site was selected for cleanup prior to the fire, but "it is actually even more important now to help raise awareness, about the effects of fires and the importance of forests in our area," Glasscock said.

The blaze, which investigators say was caused by arson, is now 98% contained, a month after it started and ravaged 16,400-acres, killed two firefighters and destroyed 89 homes.

Saturday's cleanup is expected to draw about 150 volunteers from Toyota, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and Outward Bound L.A., Glasscock said. Participants will restore trails and recreational sites and clear trash from vegetated areas.

"This will make a world of difference in terms of the water quality that comes off that area," Glasscock said. "Each small thing makes a difference."

Volunteers also will learn about natural resource and fire management from U.S. forestry officials. The event coincides with the annual National Public Lands Day, the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to enhance public lands. Interested participants should meet at 9:45 a.m. at the Angeles National Forest, Wildwood Picnic Area, on Tujunga Canyon Road.

-- Ann M. Simmons

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