Fire Crews Begin Second Day Battling Quail Fire

posted Aug 13, 2012, 1:13 PM by JTCA Contact

Firefighters began a second day fighting the Quail Fire at Joshua Tree National Park. The Quail Fire is located approximately 2.5 miles northwest of the Keys View Scenic Overlook within Joshua Tree National Park. The fire is burning through rocky hillsides covered with pinyon pine, junipers, and Joshua trees. As of 6:00 a.m. Monday morning, the fire had burned an estimated 250-300 acres. Park officials have closed the Keys View Road, a one-way scenic drive, between Cap Rock and the Keys View Overlook to allow the area to be used for firefighting personnel and equipment.

A total of 97 firefighters are working the fire this morning. Air resources include an air attack fixed wing aircraft. Two helicopters have been ordered to carry out water drops. Seven fire engines are tasked to the Quail Fire with two more engines on order. Two hand crews totaling 30 firefighters are working the fire with two more crews on order. Additional resources requested include a Safety Officer and two Emergency Medical Technicians. Agencies supporting the Quail Fire include the California Department of Forestry (Cal Fire), the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service (San Bernardino National Forest), the Morongo Valley Fire Department, and the National Park Service.

Objectives for firefighters today include 1) tying to tie in a fire line along the south edge of the fire where it is burning in rocky, tree- and brush-covered slopes, 2) firefighter safety, and 3) preservation of wilderness resources.

Over the weekend, a total four lightning-strike fires ignited in the park– three in the Covington Flats area on the west side of the park, and the Quail Fire. Due to quick, aggressive response by fire crews, the Covington Flats fires were all fully contained by Sunday with the largest reaching one-half acre in size.

Apart from the Keys View Road, all park roads and visitor facilities are open for normal summer use. The weather forecast for today calls for hot temperatures (100+ degrees) with occasional local thunderstorm activity.

Park visitors should be alert to potential flash flood activity in desert washes and low-lying areas. The public is urged to follow all signs and safety directions from park rangers and other emergency personnel.

For further updates on the Quail Fire, please visit the park’s website at: http://www.nps.gov/jotr. Additional press updates will be issued throughout the duration of the fire.

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