Two gates to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area were unlocked by vandals overnight on Friday in the midst of a reg flag closure, the National Park Service reported Saturday.
The park service said locks were broken on gates to Rancho Sierra Vista near Newbury Park and the Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons near Calabasas. The vandals created the impression that the
park sites were open for visitation.
In the event of a fire, a visitor deep
inside the canyons might not be able to exit in time. Conditions on
Saturday and Sunday are very similar to those experienced during the May
Springs Fire, the park service Said.
“If these same acts had been perpetrated during the
Springs Fire, they would have put visitors and our firefighters at a serious
and very unnecessary risk,” said Superintendent David Szymanski.
In addition to the red flag danger, all national parks are closed because of the federal government shutdown.