Editor’s note: this article was last updated with latest containment percentage and acreage burned on Aug. 2 at 10:11 a.m. Cal Fire first reported the fire had burned 184 acres.
The Pinnacles National Park Fire was 100% contained as of 7:21 p.m. on July 31, according to Cal Fire. It burned 171 acres.
At 5:40 p.m. on July 28, Cal Fire responded to a wildfire that broke out near the west entrance of Pinnacles National Park just east of Soledad.
Staff and visitors were evacuated from the west side of the park as rangers took people from the trails down to the east side while closing the trails. The west entrance remains closed. The east side is open and trails have reopened.
Blanca Alvarez Stransky, Pinnacles superintendent, said the fire destroyed part of the pig fence which surrounds the park.
“Pinnacles National Park would like to thank Cal Fire, Soledad PD and the other agencies for their quick and professional response to the Pinnacles’ fire just outside the park,” Alvarez Stravinsky said. “The agencies and Pinnacles staff deserve a lot of credit for the quick response and halting of forward progress of the fire.”
Park ranger Chris Symons who reported the fire to park dispatch at 5:03 p.m. also noted the quick response from all agencies. He, like all other west side staff members, was evacuated. He said at one point the blaze was on both sides of the gate and it was not until the wind shifted and the flames on one side died down that they could exit. He said the fire began just outside the park boundary and quickly moved into the park.
“The rate of growth was incredibly fast and there was a strong wind that helped it,” Symons said. “It was a big interagency effort.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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