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Park ravaged by Station fire reopens

June 21, 2010 | 11:01 am

The entrance to Glendale's Deukmejian Wilderness Park has been blocked to the public since its hillsides were scorched during the Station fire and filled with mud and debris in the ensuing winter storms.

On Saturday, the ever-present "Park closed" barrier was covered with a handwritten sign reading "Open."

Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman said the sign was welcomed by the many residents who had anxiously awaited the reopening of the park, where nearly 709 acres were blackened by the Station fire.

"I don't think any of us are ever going to forget the terror of the Station fire," Friedman said to a crowd of city officials and residents who gathered Saturday morning for an official reopening ceremony. "But today I think that horror is supplanted by this new image,"

Although much of the park and its wilderness trails will remain closed to the public as city officials and volunteers continue recovery efforts, Saturday's ceremony marked the opening of the park's lower portion.

More than 100 residents -- many with children and dogs in tow -- came out to the wilderness park, which they said served as an extended backyard for many in the community.

"We used to come here all the time to hike," Montrose resident Margaret Metz told the Glendale News-Press. "We are so excited it's open again."

Since the Station fire, city officials and more than 300 volunteers have dedicated thousands of hours to recovery efforts.

Read the full story here.

--Melanie Hicken, reporting for the Glendale News-Press

Photo: Glendale News-Press