The burn scar smoking in the evening, after the fires were contained. (Chris Symons/NPS)

SOLEDAD — Fast action from local firefighters helped contain a wildfire that started last Wednesday, July 28, near the west entrance of Pinnacles National Park, east of Soledad.

The fire burned a total of 171 acres off Highway 146 West, but no structures were damaged and all park staff and visitors were safely evacuated. It was fully contained a few days later on Saturday, July 31. 

“Much appreciation to Cal Fire, local police departments, and all the agencies that cooperated to move on this event with such force and speed,” stated Pinnacles National Park staff on social media. “There were over 10 fire engines, 5 helicopters, 3 dozers, and several planes involved in stopping the blaze, not to mention the firefighters, fire marshals, and officers directly involved.”

According to Cal Fire San Benito-Monterey Unit, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The west entrance reopened to visitors on Saturday morning.

“While no trails pass through burned areas, visitors entering the park after the wildfire should be wary of possible debris in the road, minor amounts of smoke, and other drivers who are paying more attention to the wildfire damage than their own vehicles,” park staff wrote on Facebook.

The scorched earth on both sides of the west entrance road, with no grass or bushes remaining, after the fire passed through. (Chris Symons/NPS)
Park staff wearing helmets and gloves kneel in front of the pig fence as they make repairs. (Kevin Brothers/NPS)
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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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