Of the more than 9,000 acres estimated damaged in the Canyon Fire 2, the large majority are within four primary OC Parks regional properties: Irvine Regional Park, Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Peters Canyon Regional Park, and Irvine Ranch Open Space. Other facilities, including several regional trail segments, are also damaged.
Fire-Damaged Parks to Remain Closed Through Weekend
The Canyon Fire 2 swept through eastern Orange County this week, burning extensively into multiple County parks, closing three regional parks at least through Monday.
Irvine Regional Park, Peters Canyon Regional Park and Santiago Oaks Regional Park still have numerous hot spots, weakened trees and other hazards that make them unsafe to enter without proper precautions. Active flare ups continued to plague the parks as late as Friday morning, and fire weather conditions are expected Saturday through midday Sunday.
The new East Sinks Viewing Deck, which boasts stunning vistas of Orange County’s very own “mini Grand Canyon,” is now open for visitors after a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 3 in OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer and OC Parks staff were joined by hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff and volunteers in dedicating the new deck, which is the second platform overlooking The Sinks.
Today the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to accept 2,500 acres of open space, donated by the Irvine Company to the County for preservation and public recreation. The donation provides additional connectivity to the 20,000 acres the Irvine Company donated to the County in 2010, which marked the largest single donation of land to the County in its history. The land accepted today was previously slated for construction of approximately 5,000 homes.
In 2010, OC Parks accepted a gift or 20,000 acres of open space from the Irvine Company. These special, protected wildlands, known as the Irvine Ranch Open Space, are operated by OC Parks, with public programs and activities available through the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.
Spring is here, and that means longer hours, warmer temperatures and more people – and wildlife – out in the parks.
Parks open later: Spring-summer hours, during Daylight Saving Time, mean parks close at 9 p.m. or sunset.
Wildlife sightings: Park rangers have reported increased sightings of snakes, including rattlesnakes. Be sure to keep yourself – and your dog, where permitted – on the trail and aware of your surroundings to avoid an encounter.
Wildflowers: As of early April, only sparse blooms are reported. Take all the photos you want from the trail, but never pick wildflowers – leave them for others to enjoy and to spread their seeds for next season.
Warmer temperatures: While it’s always important to be prepared, warmer weather makes essentials like water and sunscreen even more important.
The OC Parks mobile application is now available to download. The new app makes it easy to explore all that the County regional and wilderness parks have to offer.
Using the OC Parks app for iOS or Android, you can easily get outside and find a park near you with the most detailed, accurate maps of all regional, wilderness, beach and historic parks and regional trails operated by the County of Orange. The app also offers detailed park descriptions and photos.
The mobile app lets users easily locate the closest playgrounds, parking and restrooms in each park. Search recent OC Parks news, events and alerts regarding park access, weather, trail conditions and more.
Starting in August, hikers will be collecting imagery of Orange County trails using the Google Street View Trekker, a wearable backpack with a camera system on top. The Trekker automatically gathers images as it goes. Later the imagery will be stitched together to create the 360-degree panoramas you see today in Google Maps.
The Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) is an invasive beetle that attacks common native and landscape trees, leading to branch dieback and overall decline. This can have a devastating effect on local trees, and you may see some being treated or removed in County parks.
Gold Spotted Oak Borer (GSOB), an invasive beetle that has killed thousands of oak trees in San Diego and Riverside counties in a short span of time, has now been detected in Orange County. The GSOB was discovered in approximately 60 trees on County park land in northern Orange County. Since GSOB is transported in oak firewood, it is critical that Californians keep firewood local and not move it out of the area.
Making Orange County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost-effective regional public services.
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