Southern California fire scorches huge swath of public lands

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern Californians faced with the loss of lives and homes in a huge wildfire are also grappling with the destruction of public lands popular with hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers.

The Woolsey fire has charred more than 83 percent of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreational Area. Officials announced Wednesday that all trails were closed.

At least two people have died as a result of fire that’s destroyed more than 500 homes while consuming 152 square miles (394 square kilometers) of brush and timber.

Firefighters have made steady progress this week but warned many hotspots remain.

The massive burn scar encompasses the recreation area that stretches from beaches inland to mountains straddling Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

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