Firefighters began a second day fighting the Quail Fire, which is located approximately 2.5 miles northwest of the Keys View scenic overlook within park wilderness. The fire is burning through rocky hillsides covered with pinyon pine, junipers, and Joshua trees.
As of 6 am Monday morning, the fire had burned an estimated 250-300 acres. Keys View Road remains closed to allow the area to be used by firefighting personnel and equipment. Objectives for firefighters today include 1) establishing 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.
A total of 97 firefighters are working the fire this morning. Seven fire engines are tasked to the Quail Fire with two more engines on order. Two hand crews are working the fire with two more crews on order. A safety officer and two emergency medical technicians have been requested to support the fire. Air resources include an air-attack, fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters to make water drops. 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.
Three additional lightning-strike fires ignited over the weekend in the Covington Flats area of the park. 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.
Other than Keys View Road, park roads and visitor facilities are open for normal summer use. Today's weather forecast is for hot 100+ degree temperatures with occasional local thunderstorm activity. Park visitors should be alert to potential flash flood events 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.