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Wildflowers Return To Malibu's Parklands Months After Wildfire


Here in California last November, wildfires changed the landscape in some communities. In Malibu, parklands were scorched. But it rained a lot this winter, and as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, those same hills that were covered with wildfire are now covered with wildflowers.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: The last time I saw Ashley Lane, in November, she and her horses had just escaped the flames surrounding the Malibu Riders stables.

ASHLEY LANE: It was really scary.

DEL BARCO: Now she's back in the saddle again at Malibu Creek State Park.

LANE: I've never seen it this green before in my entire life. It reminds me of Ireland because it's so beautiful.

DEL BARCO: Emerald green grassland and golden California poppies carpet the hills. Though some trees are charred velvety black, water flows through the creek again.

MICHAEL CREADICK: These plants have evolved to spring back after a fire, and some of them don't even bloom until they've been burned.

DEL BARCO: Michael Creadick is a retired biology teacher who owns some land here. It burned, but he's back riding horses with his granddaughter.

CREADICK: Now the population of deer's going to go way back up, and the rabbits and all that other stuff, because of the grass. Fire's necessary. We don't like seeing houses burn up, but it's because people are moving into an area that's, for hundreds of thousands of years, has been evolving a fire ecology. So you got to just put up with that.

DEL BARCO: After the fires, he says, there's rebirth.

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF EPIC45'S "THE LANES DON'T CHANGE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Mandalit del Barco
As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition,, and