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Parts of Pinnacles National Park close due to fire danger concerns

pinnacles national park

PAICINES, Calif. (KION) Portions of Pinnacles National Park are closed due to concerns about potential wildfire danger.

Beginning Friday, the west unit and all trails except for Bench and Sycamore will be closed.

For out-of-state visitors, Angie and Keith Grimm, the news was a disappointment. "We're seeing what we've been able to see. Even though this road is closed we hiked down to view the peaks," said Angie.

There are currently no fires burning in the park, but officials are concerned that if one were to start, there would not be enough resources. Pinnacles National Park does not have a fire station on site.

"CalFire has said over the last couple weeks that 96% of their resources are committed on any given day. National resources are in limited supply as well," said Curt Dimmick, Pinnacles National Park Chief Ranger.

The closures will be in effect until conditions change. The National Park Service said staff will check conditions every day and reopen areas when conditions are deemed safe.

Visitors can still hike in the Bear Gulch area and on the Bench and Sycamore trails without entry fees. Dimmick said these areas will be easy to access in the event of an evacuation.

Bicyclists can also use the Pinnacles Parkway on the east side. The road will be closed beyond the campgrounds to all vehicles except those with a valid accessibility permit.

The campground and Pinnacles Bookstore will be open, but the park expects an increase in demand and recommends making reservations.

To avoid fires, the park is asking visitors to take extra precautions, including practicing safe towing and disposing of cigarettes safely. Camp fires and grilling are strictly banned. "Conditions are really dry. We want to take all the precautions we can to make sure we don't have a problem here," said Dimmick.

San Benito County / Top Stories / Wildfires / Wildfires

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

Megan Meier

Megan Meier is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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