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Firefighters work to protect historic Chumash Painted Cave

Posted at 1:37 PM, Nov 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-26 21:55:34-05

The Cave Fire, which broke out Monday off Highway 154, got its name from the area where it broke out near Painted Cave Road and the historic Chumash Painted Cave is right in the middle of the evacuation zone.

What looks like aluminum foil are actually heat-resistant tarps wrapped around the signs at the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park.

Firefighters worked to protect the historically significant site Monday night.

California State Parks rangers have been monitoring it closely in case fire conditions change.

Rangers say the silver wrapping disperses heat and prevents the fire from causing damage to the ancient paintings inside the cave

The painted cave has survived numerous fires here before.

Chief ranger Tyson Butzey with California State Parks, says, "They were degraded a little bit from the Painted Cave Fire, the Paint Fire in the '90s, and that's why we've started to work with the county fire and local fire agencies to help protect them because again the amount of heat that's outside the cave will degrade the inks and stuff that they used to put on the rocks."

Rangers say the Chumash ruins and paintings inside the cave are up to 700 years old.