Environment & Science

Chimney Fire apparently human-caused, affects Pacific Crest Trail hikers

A photo of the Chimney Fire burning in Tulare County posted Thursday, June 2, 2016.
A photo of the Chimney Fire burning in Tulare County posted Thursday, June 2, 2016.
Cal Fire (via Twitter)

A fire that broke out Wednesday in and near the Owens Peak and Chimney Peak wilderness areas has burned thousands of acres but was on its way toward being contained as of Friday morning, according to the South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team.

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The Bureau of Land Management determined that the fire was human-caused, Michelle Carbonaro, spokeswoman for South Central, told KPCC.

The fire interrupted treks along the Pacific Crest Trail with closures between Highway 178 at Walker Pass and Kennedy Meadows, according to the Sequoia National Forest's Facebook page

“I know there’s a lot of hikers in the area that have gotten displaced due to the fire so we hope to get better information out to them this evening on when we might be able to open the Pacific Crest Trail for them,” Carbonaro said.

Abby Bolt, spokeswoman with the Sequoia National Forest, told KPCC that a couple hundred hikers have been affected by the fire.  An assessment of whether hikers will be able to continue on the trail or will need to be shuttled to the next leg of their journey is currently underway and more information will be available by 8 p.m. Friday, Carbonaro said.

“Minimal fire behavior was experienced through the night and there is no projected movement expected today," Carbonaro said.

There were still 24 structures in the area that were considered threatened. One heat-related injury was reported, according to Bolt.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to the Pacific Crest Trail as the Pacific Coast Trail. KPCC regrets the error.