Officials walk Deukmejian Park to assess damage while preparing for rain, wind.
By Charles COOPER, Mary O’KEEFE
OnTuesday and Wednesday this week, Glendale city representatives from various departments met with officials from other local agencies as they began to structure a plan on how to take care of a post-Station fire Deukmejian Wilderness Park. The park is currently closed to the public.
The Los Angeles County Flood Control District, two representatives from L.A. Parks and Recreation and members of a geotech firm the city plans to hire walked parts of the devastated park to evaluate what next steps should be taken to help repair the damaged property.
“They [L.A. Parks and Recreation] briefed us on what they did to handle the Griffith Park area after that fire,” said Ritch Wells, Glendale city spokesman.
There are two main concerns officials have with the post fire park: flooding and the Santa Ana winds.
“On Wednesday we heard from the National Weather Service which is classifying this year’s El Nino as mild to moderate,” said Russ Hauck, senior park naturalist.
That may help but any rain is likely to affect the burned park hillside.
“What we are preparing for is a mud flow coming down out of the park,” Hauck said.
Wells added that soil erosion due to the fire is a main concern at the park as it is throughout the Foothill communities.
“Even with a mild El Nino we will see potential flooding,” he said.
Hauck added the city is looking into several options including sheering up the hillside with hydro mulch, a blanket that will cover the bare hillside.
But before the rains will come the Santa Ana winds.
“That is another concern,” Hauck said.
The ash that now covers Deukmejian Park is easily disturbed by anyone walking the paths. “There is a lot of ash. Santa Ana winds will cause that ash to become airborne,” Wells said.
The city plans to make a continued effort to keep residents informed of how to prepare for the rainy and windy seasons by updating the City’s website, the government access channel, GTV6 and the community hotline.
City officials will also host two community meetings to review winter weather preparation plans and to answer any questions from the public.
The first meeting will be at 10 a.m. on Sept. 26, the second meeting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28. Both meetings will be held at the Center for Spiritual Living at 4845 Dunsmore Ave.
The city was on the verge of putting out a new contract for seismic strengthening work at the Le Mesnager Stone Barn in Deukmejian Park. That project will be put back on hold for now. Meanwhile, park activities have been shifted to other sites. A campfire scheduled for Saturday at 6:30 p.m. will be held in Dunsmore Park, 4700 Dunsmore Ave. All other city parks are open for use.
For more information, visit the city’s website at www.ci.glendale.ca.us or call the city hotline at (818) 548-6464.