Fire chars strip of Mount Barnabe


The first wildfire of the season sparked early Thursday morning in Samuel P. Taylor State Park, charring 35 acres of Mount Barnabe. While the cause is still unknown, the blaze began near power lines, Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber said. The fire was reported in a 4:47 a.m. phone call: someone reported smelling smoke, then seeing flames “maybe a quarter-mile up” the hillside as the person drove westbound past Lagunitas into the park. The long, narrow, slow-moving fire spread in an area bordered by Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the south, Barnabe Ridge to the north, Devil’s Gulch to the west and Barnabe Fire Road to the east. Crews from Woodacre, Hicks Valley and Point Reyes Station first responded to the blaze at 5:01 a.m. The force eventually totaled nearly 200, with 40 county firefighters manning nine engines, two water tenders and two bulldozers as well as 150 firefighters from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection who battled the flames throughout the day. After an opaque morning fog cleared, fixed-wing aircraft made four flame retardant drops, and a helicopter dumped water from Kent Lake. The fire was 95 percent contained by Friday morning, meaning a control line had been cut around most of the perimeter. No injuries or evacuations were reported, and no structures were threatened. A trail to the summit near the scorched brush remained closed as of Wednesday afternoon, but other trails and campgrounds in the park are open.