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* San Bernardino National Forest. State 18 detour in place; road and trail closures remain in burned areas.
Gardner, a fire management officer for the Willamette National Forest's Middle Fork Ranger District, just started a temporary assignment with the San Bernardino National Forest. He arrived Thursday after a 950-mile drive from Oakridge, and the first thing that hit him was just the sheer size of the inferno.
Partner Organization: San Bernardino National Forest
If you've got time and fancy sunshine, beaches and golf, leave LA on Highway 60, climb through the San Bernardino National Forest and take Highway 74 down to Palm Springs, where pine trees suddenly give way to date palms.
Gene Zimmerman, of San Bernardino National Forest, said: "You can dream up horror films and they wouldn't be this bad."
In the San Bernardino National Forest 85 miles east of Los Angeles is a patch of forest that died in flames 23 years ago, was replanted and brought back to life, and has been cared for ever since by boys and girls.
In 1955, some years after my childhood treks into the San Gabriels, a young Forest Service timber-management assistant named Willard Tikkala reported for work in the San Bernardino National Forest. The first time he laid eyes on the piney woods around Lake Arrowhead, California, which is surrounded by the San Bernardino Forest, he knew something was wrong.
"It's easy to find, " a ranger with the San Bernardino National Forest told me, "because there's a sign right next to it." After an uphill, five-mile ski, I arrived at the designated "X" on my map and found a big lodgepole pine.
The Angeles National Forest, the San Bernardino National Forest, and the Santa Monica National Recreation Area are all within an hour's drive of downtown Los Angeles, yet they offer a striking contrast to the city environment.
Articles in that issue included a feature on smog in the San Bernardino National Forest and another on the Earth Day teach ins at universities across the nation.

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