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El Capitan campgrounds reopen after Real Fire

Just 24 hours after the Real Fire burned nearby and thick smoke filled the air, El Capitan campgrounds reopened to dozens of happy campers on Friday evening.

“The canyon looks beautiful,” said Terri Bowman, Managing Partner at El Capitan Canyon Resort. “We had no damage. Everybody’s safe and sound. And we’re looking forward to a great weekend.”

Even in the hectic moments after the fire broke out, evacuations from the local campgrounds, including Ocean Mesa RV and Campground, went smoothly.

“What we learned yesterday is that each fire is different,” Bowman said. “So we were really happy that we were prepared.”

Twenty-five families visiting from Village School in Pacific Palisades were among those excited to be at the Canyon campground on Friday. The fifth grade class has been making the trip each October for the past three years.

“We were so, so hoping this trip would come through last night,” said Lia Seabold. “It sent us into a panic.”

There was even doubt during the school day earlier Friday that the students could make the trip this year.

“We’d all be celebrating, and we’d be in doubt, and now we’re here,” student Ella Temple said.

“I was really scared for the people who live here because I didn’t want their houses to burn down,” said Lily Crosby, another student.

“And the animals,” said Lily’s mother, Maggie. “We were worried about the animals.”

Thankfully firefighters made significant progress on the fire overnight, and then the school got the all clear Friday afternoon.

“This [trip] has become a real tradition for them and their families,” Bowman said. “So we feel a part of their celebration as well.”

KEYT 2019

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