Fire destroys tower in Sequoia National Forest

Fire destroys tower in Sequoia National Forest

28 July 2011

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USA — SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST — A structure fire in the Sequoia National Forest destroyed a fire lookout tower, forest officials said Thursday evening.

While the Lion wildfire currently threatens Sequoia National Forest in the Golden Trout Wilderness, the Needles Fire Lookout Tower, in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, was destroyed by an unrelated structure fire, Sequoia National Forest spokeswoman Denise Alonzo said.

The only person in the tower was able to escape before the building burned down, Alonzo said.

Firefighters have closed Forest Road 21S05 and trail 32E22, an area that includes the popular rock formation known as “The Magician,” Alonzo said. The area will remain closed until the fire has been contained and is safe for visitors.

The lookout tower was built between 1937 and 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Alonzo said. The tower overlooked Kern River Drainage, Mt. Whitney, Olancha Peak, Farewell Gap and Dome Rock and provided communications to emergency personnel.

The Needles Fire Lookout Tower in the Giant Sequoia National Monument was destroyed by fire Thursday.

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