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Wildfire Skirts Scotty's Castle At Death Valley National Park


A wildfire approached, but did not reach, Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park. NPS map.

A wildfire approached Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park, but firefighters managed to keep the flames from reaching the historic complex.

The fire broke out Tuesday around 4 p.m. As of Wednesday morning, about 26 acres of heavy brush had burned north of the Castle grounds. Firefighters from the region were called in to fight the blaze, which at times fed flames about 70 feet high.

Park officials say Scotty’s Castle is closed indefinitely until water and power are restored to the area. Bonnie Clair Road is closed between the junction of Big Pine Road and three miles east of the Castle. The remainder of the park remains open to visitors. There is no damage to the Castle itself. A small area of an outbuilding was sprayed with water after winds blew embers onto the structure.

Firefighters hope to have the fire fully contained by the weekend. The source of the fire has not yet been determined.


The risks of wildlfires may not come to mind when many of us think about desert areas such as Death Valley, but brush in drainages such as this one can be a big problem when fires occur. Kudos to the firefighters for preventing damage to a great historical resource at Scotty's Castle. Based on the map, this was a close call!

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