National Park Service closes Scorpion Valley to restore burn area

Section of Santa Cruz Island near Smugglers Cove will be closed until further notice.

CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK—National Park Service officials announced the closure of the Scorpion Fire burn area for restoration purposes, June 24. This area extends eastward from Scorpion Valley that leads to Smugglers Cove on the east side of Santa Cruz Island encompassing the 1,411 acres burn area.

Visitors to the island are able to hike Smugglers Road from Smugglers Anchorage toward Scorpion Valley. However, boaters will not be able to access the popular Little Scorpion Canyon from the shoreline due to the closure. In addition, boaters cannot utilize Scorpion Anchorage because of ongoing pier construction.

“The National Park Service is grateful for the rapid response to the Scorpion Fire by Los Padres National Forest and Santa Barbara County Fire on Santa Cruz Island,” Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Ethan McKinley said. “We are in the process of assessing and understanding resource impacts from the fire and deciding which methods are best to restore the burn area.”

The historic Delphine’s Grove did receive some fire damage. This copse of trees was planted in the early 1900s by the oldest child of famed rancher Justinian Caire. The historic olive grove at Smugglers, was not harmed by the blaze.

Information about the Santa Cruz Island fire is available online at www.nps.gov/chis/parknews/newsreleases.htm.

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