Mt. Diablo slow to recover after fire

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif.

The hope was by this time the hills of Mt. Diablo would be lush with green grasses and spring wild flowers. That has happened to an extent. There are definitely signs of rebirth, but the drought has kept a full recovery up here at bay.

What last September's fire consumed, nature is trying to rebuild high atop Mt. Diablo, much to the delight of those hikers who have come up to take a look. You can see small trees starting to spring up again. However, that's not to say that all has returned to its lush past. Amid the bright poppies and daisies, there is still plenty that is charred.

"Were kind of disappointed we didn't have the rains that we hoped for this year. Obviously we're in a drought situation, but we do have a good wildflower season going on, but we expected a lot better," said Dan Stefanisko, a supervising ranger.

It will return, but fire is nature's way of cleaning house with an eye toward what will be new and fresh when the time is right.

"You think it's going to be a while before it's really back? I think it's going to take at least a couple years. Probably more," said Gary Petz, a hiker.

The lack of rain this year not only compromised the recovery in the wake of the fire. It's also raised concerns, about what a hot, dry summer could bring.

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