News Update: Needles, CA: Vegetation fire continues to burn along the Colorado River near Jack Smith Memorial Park.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):

Sources: San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Munsey and Battalion Chief Keith Peterson (Information):

Needles, California: Firefighters from multiple fire department agencies continue to put out a vegetation fire burning along the Colorado River near Jack Smith Memorial Park.

The vegetation fire started at around 9:57 a.m. PT on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011.

ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary Lopez has remained at the scene of the vegetation fire gathering the latest information as well as capturing on camera the vegetation fire.

As of 6:13 a.m. PT, Battalion Chief Dan Munsey with the San Bernardino County Fire Department tells ZachNews that the vegetation fire has burned 300 plus acres; mostly medium timber and grass; was at 50% contained; and that the cause of the vegetation fire is under investigation; possibly a camp fire by transients.

John Wood from Albuquerque, New Mexico was in town to visit family, and tells ZachNews that he was at Jack Smith Memorial Park when he saw the smoke pluming over some trees to the south of the park, and ran to call for help.

“About 5 minutes to 8 a.m., I drove up here with his car and parked it. I opened my car door up and see a campfire burning to the south (south of Jack Smith Memorial Park). I went up the guy up their at the station (fire station) that there was a fire over there,” said John Wood.

John Wood later tells ZachNews that he did not see anyone leave the area of where the fire was, but did add that the tall trees along the river facing the park blocked his view.

John Wood said that he did see the tan color smoke peeking over the tall trees.

Firefighters from San Bernardino County Fire Department, Bullhead City Fire Department, Mohave Valley Fire Department, Golden Shores Fire Department and Bureau of Land Management have responded to the vegetation fire.

Fire crews worked overnight into the morning on the vegetation fire, including using a fire bulldozer from the San Bernardino County Fire Department to clear vegetation.

Battalion Chief Dan Munsey also tells ZachNews that, “Yes; the fire did jumped the tracks; 5 to 10 acres. We got control of it; We’ve been working with the railroad; the line has been reopened and was closed for about an hour.”

The vegetation fire has closed portion of Jack Smith Memorial Park as well as Santa Fe Road leading towards the railroad tracks.

As of 11:04 a.m. PT, Battalion Chief Keith Peterson with the San Bernardino County Fire Department tells ZachNews that fire crews have had difficulties getting to the fire do to the limited access and roads.

No reports of injuries related to the vegetation fire.

Firefighters have been staying well and drinking lots of water thanks to the Rehab Unit from the Mohave Valley Fire Department; helping to provide firefighters with water and food as they come in and out of the vegetation fire.

The Rehab Unit also checks the blood pressure of the firefighters to see if they are doing alright.

Run by volunteers, the Rehab Unit is a great help to all of those fighting fire and saving lives.

As of 1:07 p.m. PT, the vegetation fire remains at 300 plus acres, and is at 60% contained.

In all; fire crews have been doing a great job keeping this fire under control and away from the residential and downtown area.

As of 5:31 p.m. PT, reports that there have been no injuries related to the vegetation fire, and the mobile home that was burned in the vegetation fire has been vacant for more then 10 years.

As of 11:02 p.m. PT, Battalion Chief Keith Peterson with the San Bernardino County Fire Department tells ZachNews that the vegetation fire remains at 300 acres, about 3 miles long; remains at 60% contained; and the cause of the vegetation fire is still being investigated; possibly an unattended campfire.

Stay tuned to ZachNews for continuing breaking news coverage of the vegetation fire burning along the Colorado River near Jack Smith Memorial Park in Needles, California.

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