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FIRE Closes Monument!

Excerpted from an EMail sent to FOP by Gary Candelaria (Superintendent, Pinnacles National Monument)

The latest is that the fire has generally burned itself out. Containment is expected to be declared at 8pm tonight (8/6); control (which means "out" more or less) is expected for Monday, 8/10 at 8pm. At the peak, which was Tuesday, almost 500 firefighters and 75 overhead from the NPS, USFS, CDF, BLM, and other mutual aid fire departments were working on the fire. Folks are beginning to be demobilized this afternoon. The fire was caused by a power line arc or short.

Acreage burned is estimated at 2,950 total; 65% or so is on the park, generally in the South Wilderness. The balance is BLM and private land. No climbing areas were threatened or impacted. No serious injuries, no structures or homes burned. The resource impacts will be generally beneficial, provided we don't have extensive or heavy rains that could cause erosion. The fire's boundaries are essentially from Mt. Defiance east to within 1 mile of Hwy 25 on a line along Hwy 146; south to Grassy Canyon, then back east to Chalone Creek. Then SW across the South Wilderness to a point 1 mile east of South Chalone Peak, then back northwest to Mt. Defiance.

The park has been closed during the fire, but we expect to reopen to visitors on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 7:30am. The South Wilderness Trail will be closed, as will the North Chalone Peak Trail from the saddle behind Mt. Defiance, since the fire will not yet be considered out and there may be firefighters cold-trailing the perimeter and removing hazards out there. As soon as safe after the fire is declared controlled, visitors will be able to hike in the burned area.

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