To Our Ojai Community:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we recover from the damage from the Thomas Fire on our trails. In the coming months trails will likely open and close depending on rain and changing trail conditions. Click here for current information and trail notifications »

Restoration after the Thomas Fire

Help us grow trees and shrubs!

In December 1,500 acres of the OVLC’s 2,300 acres burned in the Thomas Fire. Much of our open space will recover on its own after a fire. There is a large native seed bank already in our soils just waiting for the first rains to sprout. However, there are some areas that may need our help to come back. The OVLC lost approximately 1,500 newly planted oak trees and over 3,000 other plants in our restoration areas. There also may be areas around bulldozer lines, areas where the fire burned unusually hot, or areas of steeply sloped trails that need a little extra attention to recover as well.

The biggest threat to the natural recovery of our open spaces comes from invasive non-native weeds. These were mostly suppressed before the fire by the older and larger native plants. The open areas left barren by the fire provide space for non-natives to get a foothold. The invasive weeds are dangerous as they can quickly colonize bare areas and prevent the establishment of the native plants upon which local birds and wildlife depend. It will be critical in the first year to prevent these plants from getting established and reproducing. The best way to combat these plants by manual means such as hand pulling or with common garden implements. A substantial force of volunteers will be needed as we set priorities for this work. Volunteering is much more than just work though. It’s a great opportunity to get outside for exercise, help nature, and make new friends (people who volunteer are the best type of friends). Join the OVLC volunteer crews today, and help us protect our natural areas.

You can help us grow! Below are the plants we need the most as well as a guide on how to grow them. When the time is right we will have planting parties to get all our new plants in the ground!

If you can help, or want to keep in touch with our efforts, please submit your information below. No time to volunteer? Consider becoming OVLC Member or donating to our recovery efforts today. Thank you!!

If you do plan on growing plants, please let us know by filling out the form below so we can get you on our planting party mailing list!


Post-Fire Planting List
Below is a list of plants that would be most helpful to our restoration projects. Coast live oaks being number one. Click the link of the plant for more information and resources on how to get started.

Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia)

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)

Black walnut (Juglans californica)

Coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis)

California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)

Giant wild-rye (Elymus condensatus)


Yes! I will help grow plants! Here is my information below:

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