Wildflowers return to fire-damaged park

May 9, 2008 at 5:51 PM

LOS ANGELES, May 9 (UPI) -- Los Angeles officials said a dazzling array of wildflowers has bloomed at Griffith Park, where a large fire razed more than 1,000 acres last year.

Officials said the park has not been seeded, but one-third of the hills that were cleared by the fire are now experiencing new growth, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Friday.

"The fire blackened more than 1,000 acres. Now it's unbelievable," said Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge. "I have never seen so many wildflowers, except in San Francisco in 1969."

"You can drive just about anywhere in the park to see these wildflowers," said biologist Dan Cooper, who wrote a city report on wildlife in the park. "It's totally great. It's a totally great wildflower year."

The fire, which was ignited by a burning cigarette on May 8, 2007, burned for three days. The city followed the disaster by spraying nearly $2 million worth of hydromulch on the hillsides last year ahead of the rains that accompany early winter.

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