THE WOOLSEY FIRE started November 9, 2018 during a major wind event blasting through the Santa Monica Mountains. 

Over the next few weeks, the dry hilltops and ridges glowed red. This fire scorched over 90,000 acres of the wild Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, including the Malibu Creek State Park. Homes in Malibu and Agoura burned and evacuations displaced thousands. We all learned a lot from this fire and the terrible one up in Paradise, in Northern California. Here in the Santa Monicas, we learned that the fire was so hot and capricious in places, scorching hilltops and leaving some deep canyons barely touched. 

I was able to sneak into Malibu Creek area in early December 2018 when the ground was still hot and smoking in places.  Soon after, I had my first rotator cuff surgery and decided to continue o return to places I could access easily to see how the area recovered. Oak trees are the most resilient, but even some of those could not come back to life.  

Throughout 2019 and into 2020, I stopped by every few weeks to document the progress. Included here are some of the shots that tell the story.