Angel Island reopens

October 20, 2008 4:53:04 PM PDT
Angel Island reopened on a restricted basis this morning, more than a week after a fire ravaged much of the historic state park.

Visitors will be able to explore some of Angel Island terrain and its historical sites, and take tram and Segway tours on a road that runs along the perimeter of the island, park superintendent Dave Matthews said.

However, park staff has posted warning signs and has blocked off the area above the road with caution tape. The off-limits area includes campsites and two of the island's main hiking trails.

The blaze, which ignited Oct. 12 and created a spectacle visible from all around the Bay, consumed 380 acres of the 780-acre island, killed one raccoon and a deer, and destroyed an abandoned water tank.

Investigators have determined the fire was started by human activity, but the exact cause remains under investigation.

The park reopened at 8 a.m. today and the first ferry was scheduled to arrive around 10 a.m.

Matthews said some visitors might be curious to see the fire damage.

"I do think the fire is going to be an attraction for some folks," he said.

He said park staff believes the fire will help revitalize the natural vegetation on the island.

"Overall, we feel the fire is going to be a good, positive effect on the island," Matthews said.


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