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Lost Horse Fire at Joshua Tree Consumes 450 Acres

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As of 7 p.m. last night, the Lost Horse Fire in Joshua Tree National Park was 80% contained with full containment expected by 8 a.m. this morning. At 8:15 a.m., rangers at the Visitor Center could not confirm the current status of the blaze to LAist.

Originally estimated to be 150 acres in size, fire personnel recalculated the fire's size to be 450 acres. “The fire is burning in fairly rugged terrain with lots of rough rocky slopes,” said Joe Zarki, the park's Chief of Interpretation, to the Desert Sun. “There's no even ground up there. It's sometimes difficult to estimate in that type of area.”

The fire began on Sunday, prompting the precautionary ousting of 12 hikers. It has burned through Joshua trees, pinyon pines, junipers and desert scrub vegetation, but also is raising concern as it affect habitat for the endangered desert tortoise and historic Lost Horse Mine, which was discovered in 1893 and is currently the park's best preserved stamp miss used back then to process 9,000 pounds of gold ore.

Except for land immediately affected by the fire and the resources fighting it, all other park areas and facilities are open to the public.