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Long road to recovery ahead for fire-damaged areas of Santa Monica Mountains NRA, biologists say

Two dozen biologists with binoculars and telemetry equipment fanned out across the smoldering gulches and slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area on Friday to take a preliminary accounting of the damage caused by wildfire to prime mountain lion country.

It was arduous, dusty work, traipsing through shrub lands reduced to piles of white ash and denuded canyons. But the data they gathered were cause for cautious optimism.

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