In this year of some of the worst fires ever in California history, we take a look back, in this historical highlight, at some of the worst fires to ever burn in Joshua Tree National Park. Ernest Figueroa has the details…

On July 31, 1995, an afternoon thunderstorm touched off two fires when lightning struck about 10 miles apart in Joshua Tree National Park. The smaller fire burned about 80 acres in the Lost Horse area near the Ryan Campground. Firefighters had to hike in an hour with all their gear to get to it,  but they had it fully contained by the next day.

The other fire, which started in the Covington Flats area and was named for Covington Flats, burned thick stands of juniper and Joshua trees. At its peak, more than 1000 firefighters from 17 different federal, state, and local agencies were fighting the 5,100-acre blaze, aided by helicopters and aerial tankers. The fire burned a vacation cabin and a travel trailer in the “Whispering Pines” area of the park, and threatened the village of Joshua Tree. It took three days before the Covington Flats fire was under control.

For more information, see the Hi-Desert Magazine article below:
Copyright © 1995 Hi-Desert Magazine.


A distribution of free food will be held tomorrow and the first and third Tuesdays of every month, until further notice, at the new Joshua Tree Elementary School, 4950 Sunburst Avenue, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.


Z107.7 News reporter Andrew Dieleman has been passing his time during the COVID-19 lockdown completing numerous home improvement projects. What should have been a simple project six weeks ago turned into an unexpected trip to the emergency room. Here is his warning to anyone picking up a power tool…

During the COVID-19 lockdown, I have been completing many much-needed home repairs, from painting, to tiling, to drywalling. One project required cutting a piece of plywood with a circular saw, something I have done numerous times in the past. This time however, I made a mistake that sent me to the emergency room.

While cutting the board, I allowed myself to have a lapse in judgement and placed my free hand above the board for leverage, something I never should have done. I thought my hand was far enough away from the blade…it wasn’t. As the saw cut the board, the blade bound, jumped out of the gap, and skipped across the board and over my fingers. I knew I was cut, but I didn’t know how bad. I wrapped my fingers and rushed myself to the Hi-Desert Medical Center where I was treated for a shattered thumb nail and a deep laceration to the end of my middle finger, both on my right hand. After a series of X-rays, five stitches, and an up-to-date tetanus shot, I was released.

Six weeks later, my middle finger has fully healed, however my thumb nail won’t fully heal for another six to eight months. I was very lucky to have received such minor injuries; the doctor told me that circular saw accidents usually end with life-changing injuries. From someone who is normally very careful with his tools, this is an extremely embarrassing story to tell, but if it helps someone take the necessary precautions with their own tools, I’m happy to share my story. Remember, it doesn’t matter how careful you have been with your tools—one distraction, lapse in judgment, or overall careless act is all it takes to leave you with a potentially life-changing injury.