Last updated: Friday, October 23, 2020
On Monday, August 17, 2020, lightning started a wildfire, which was named the 4-5 Fire, north of the junction of Woodward Valley Trail and the Coast Trail. On Tuesday, August 18, a second fire, initially named the 4-6 Fire and later renamed the Woodward Fire, was found nearby and, aided by gusty winds, quickly grew in size. By Friday, October 9, the Woodward Fire was 100% contained at 4,929 acres in size. However, fuels in the interior area of the fire will continue to burn until the winter rains arrive. Park personnel are now be in a monitoring operating stance and will shift into suppression repair and emergency repair work over the next several months.
Safety reminder: Park visitors and area residents are asked to be mindful of park closures that remain in effect. Unburnt fuels in the interior of the fire area will continue to burn and may flare up under favorable weather conditions producing more smoke. The fire probably will not be completely extinguished until the park receives rain. The fuels that continue to burn are large tree trunks and smoldering fuels that are very difficult to access. Compromised trees are falling on a regular basis within the interior and along the perimeter of the fire creating hazards for firefighters. While it might not look dangerous, if you were to go into a closed area, and something were to happen to you and you required assistance, everyone might be put in harm's way. Thank you for your continued patience during this extraordinary time!
Areas closed to all visitors due to the Woodward Fire.
The area and all trails south of Limantour Road* and Bear Valley Road, west of Bear Valley Access Road and Rift Zone Trail, and north of Stewart Trail are closed to all visitor access until further notice. These areas include, but are not limited to:
The Bear Valley area west of the Visitor Center Access Road and south of the Rift Zone Trail is closed to all visitor access until further notice. This includes:
Bear Valley Trail, Mount Wittenburg Trail, Horse Trail, Sky Trail, Laguna Trail, Glen Trail, Greenpicker Trail, and Coast Trail north of Stewart Trail.
* The exception to this closure is that visitors are welcome to walk southeast on Limantour Beach. Keep in mind that all areas above the vegetation line from Limantour Beach's southern parking lot to Wildcat Campground are closed to all access until further notice, including Sculptured Beach Trail, Kelham Beach Trail, and Kelham Beach.
** Rangers will be stationed at the front doors of the Bear Valley Visitor Center daily from 10 am to 4:30 pm (as staffing allows) to provide visitors information and maps. Please line up along the sloped pathway from near the accessible parking spaces; only one person per family/party/group, please. Please maintain at least six feet of physical distance and wear a mask. The interior of the visitor center is closed until further notice.
As of Friday, October 23, 2020, the Bear Valley parking lot, Bear Valley Picnic Area, the Earthquake Trail, and the Rift Zone Trail are open.
Respect the Closures
Fire-related activity continues. Hazardous conditions exist. Conditions can change rapidly. Please visit these areas of Point Reyes National Seashore at a later, safer time in the future.
An interactive fire map for the Woodward Fire is available displaying evacuation warning areas, fire perimeter, satellite based thermal imagery, and other features. More features are in the works and will be added as they are finished.
Earlier Evacuation Orders and Warnings That Have Been Lifted or Reduced
At 6 pm on Friday, September 4, the Marin County Sheriff's Office, in collaboration with Marin County Fire Department, reduced the Monday, August 24 Evacuation Order for Silverhills Road, Fox Drive, and Noren Way to an Evacuation Warning. The evacuation center at the Marin Center was also closed. Evacuation warnings for Silverhills Road, Fox Drive, and Noren Way and Inverness Park and the Bear Valley area remained in effect until 4 pm on Wednesday, September 9, 2020.
At noon on Saturday, August 29, 2020, the Evacuation Warning for the communities of Bolinas and Dogtown and for the Highway 1 corridor south of Five Brooks was lifted. The Palomarin, Ridge, McCurdy/Teixeira, Randall, and Five Brooks Trailheads and all trails within Point Reyes National Seashore remained closed until Thursday, September 10, 2020.
At 10:08 pm on Monday, August 24, 2020, the Marin County Sheriff's Office announced that the evacuation warning area was expanded to include the area east of Highway 1, north of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, west of Olema Hill/Bolinas Ridge, and south of Lagunitas Creek.
At 6:23 pm on Monday, August 24, 2020, the Marin County Sheriff's Office announced an evacuation order for Silverhills Road, Fox Drive, and Noren Way south of Inverness Park.
At 11:41 am on Friday, August 21, 2020, the Marin County Sheriff's Office announced an evacuation warning for the area west of Highway 1 and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (northern intersection) to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. The area included the communities of Olema, Inverness, Inverness Park and Sea Haven. The area south of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and west of the Bay Area Ridge Trail (aka Bolinas Ridge Trail), and north of the McCurdy Trail was also closed.
Disclaimer: Daily between 8 am and 4:30 pm, park website authors will update the alerts above with any new information that becomes available. After 4:30 pm and before 8 am, visit the Marin County Sheriff's Office's Nixle page to check whether any alerts pertaining to the Woodward Fire have been posted while park website authors are off-duty, as well as for additional emergency alerts that are in effect in Marin County. Park website authors will add any alerts that are issued overnight when they return to work at 8 am each morning.
Visit FIRESafe MARIN's Wildfire Evacuation Preparedness page to learn how to register to receive evacuation notices & fire information, to learn the difference between Evacuation Warnings and Evacuation Orders, tips on how to harden your home and create defensible space, and how to prepare to evacuate.
Webinar: Evacuation & Warnings – How To Survive a Wildfire
With the transition of incident management for the fire from the Northern Rockies National Incident Management Team 2 to the Great Basin Incident Management Team 4, information will still come from the National Seashore's Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Status update briefings in the morning also transitioned to Point Reyes National Seashore's Facebook page and will continue to be on Zoom.
Woodward Fire status briefing: every other day at ~9:30 am
Beginning on Thursday, September 10, 2020, Great Basin Incident Management Team 4 Press Briefings will be offered every other day (i.e., Saturday, September 12; Monday, September 14; Wednesday, September 16) through Wednesday, September 16.
ASL and captioning available on all platforms, Spanish interpretation available on Zoom. Each day, English recordings are posted to YouTube and Facebook, and Spanish recordings are posted to YouTube.
ASL y subtítulos disponibles en todas las plataformas, interpretación en español disponible en Zoom. Cada día se publican grabaciones en inglés y español en YouTube y Facebook, y en español en YouTube.
Watch on the Point Reyes National Seashore's Facebook page. (You do not need your own Facebook account to watch this briefing on the park's Facebook page.)
North Bay Incident Management Team Press Briefings
From Wednesday, August 19, 2020, through Sunday, August 23, 2020, the Marin County Fire Department, Point Reyes National Seashore, and the Marin County Sheriff's Department held press briefings about the Woodward Fire. Press briefings were live streamed on Marin County Fire Department's Facebook page. View the North Bay IMT's press briefings that were offered on:
The Marin County Fire Department, Point Reyes National Seashore, and the Marin County Sheriff's Department held a digital town hall on Saturday, August 22, 2020. The public were invited to submit questions in advance for park and fire officials to answer. The recording of the town hall is available on Facebook in only English and on YouTube in both English and Español.
We continue to receive generous donation offers and truly appreciate all of them. However, in order to keep all of our firefighters safe from potential exposure to COVID-19, we are not able to accept items from the community. If you would like to show support, please post "thank you" signs along roadways and in the community where the firefighters will see them. You may also consider making a donation to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation or a local charity.
415-464-5100 This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.