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Fire claims Bristlecone Pine Forest visitor center

September 6, 2008 | 10:14 am

Photo: Mike Bodine / Inyo Register

Residents of Inyo County and fans of the Eastern Sierra and the surrounding region were saddened to learn that fire on Thursday destroyed the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest visitor center. A news brief posted Saturday morning on the Inyo Register's online home page said the incident sent "sadness and shockwaves throughout the Owens Valley and beyond."

The Schulman Grove Visitor Center was 24 miles east of Big Pine on White Mountain Road at an elevation of more than 10,000 feet.

The Register reported: "By the time tankers and engines arrived on the scene at 10:30 a.m., the center was a total loss.... Along with the building, the blaze destroyed about 50 feet of boardwalk and 3-4 Bristlecone pine trees.... Most of the boardwalk, a few picnic tables and signs and the rest rooms were all that remained."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

—Pete Thomas