Joshua Tree National Park, Twentynine Palms, CA—Park dispatch received a visitor report at 8:10 pm, Saturday, November 28, 2015, of a Joshua tree burning on the roadside within Joshua Tree National Park. Park law enforcement, an engine from San Bernardino Fire, and the National Park Service/Bureau of Land Management Fire Management Officer responded.
The tree was located about one-mile east of Sheep Pass Campground. The visitors making the original report had successfully slowed the fire with water bottles, and professional crews suppressed the remaining flames before they could spread into the desert. The tree was then cut down at the base to prevent it from falling.
Superintendent David Smith stated, “These iconic trees are the tangible symbol of the park, and of the California desert. The loss of any Joshua tree saddens me.”
The fire has been determined to be human-caused and is currently under investigation. No lightning or storm events were reported in the area. Any park visitors who witnessed suspicious activity in that area are asked to report what they saw to park staff by calling 760-367-5500.