Fire Crews Battle Lightning Ignited Wildfire

Lightning from summer thunderstorms ignited a wildfire in Joshua Tree National Park on Sunday afternoon. The Quail Fire is located approximately 3.5 miles northwest of the Keys View scenic overlook.

Fire crews mobilized quickly to fight the blaze, which is burning at a moderate pace through rocky hillsides covered with pinyon pine, junipers, and Joshua trees. As of 6:30 pm, the fire had burned an estimated 125-150 acres. Park officials have closed Keys View Road to allow the area to be used for firefighting personnel and equipment.

Ten fire engines, one water tender, and two hand crews have been assigned to the fire. More than 100 firefighters are working the Quail Fire this evening. Aaron Kendall of the National Park Service is the Incident Commander. Three air tankers and one helicopter were also tasked to the fire for air support. A partial list of agencies supporting the fire includes firefighters from the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and Cal Fire.

Apart from Keys View Road, park roads and visitor facilities are open for normal summer use. Current weather conditions are hot with occasional local thunderstorm activity. Visitors should be alert to 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.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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