Human-Caused Fire Destroys Joshua Tree: Rangers

Investigators say a fire that burned a Joshua tree in Joshua Tree National Park was caused by human activity.

The National Park Service said a visitor reported Saturday night that a tree burned on the roadside within the park.

The visitors slowed the fire with water bottles, but firefighters who put out the flames had to cut the tree down to keep it from falling.

Park Superintendent David Smith said he's saddened by the loss of the twisted, spiky tree. He called the Joshua tree, which is protected by the government, a tangible symbol of the park and of the Mojave Desert.

Investigators have determined the fire was human-caused. They said no lightning was reported in the area Saturday night.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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