Iconic Pioneer Tree at Samuel P. Taylor State Park destroyed by fire

The iconic 700-year-old Pioneer Tree at Samuel P. Taylor State Park caught on fire and collapsed Thursday morning.

It's been visited and revisited by generations of local and tourists since the state park first opened 77 years ago.

Marin County fire department received reports about the suspicious fire around 11:25 a.m., officials said. Approximately half an acre of land was burnt.

A hiker walking along Pioneer Trail came upon the redwood, burning from the inside out.

Firefighters brought in a mile-long hose in effort to save the tree.

"But unfortunately, it was already burning quite hotly and it fell in the early afternoon," said Vince Anibale, the Chief Bay Area Ranger for the California State Parks System.

He said it was a natural wonder that allowed people to look inside the 200-foot tall mega tree. It was one of the park’s few remaining old-growth coastal redwoods.

"Previous fires had hollowed out the tree probably from centuries of fire coming through the area," said Anibale.

No injuries were reported, according to California State Park. There were also no evacuations needed. However, the Pioneer Tree and Cross Marin Trails are temporarily closed until further notice, park officials said. 

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"State Parks is devastated by the loss of this much-beloved redwood tree," said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. "I saw the collapsed tree in person and know how much it pains all of us who treasure these ancient giants who have lived thousands of years." 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.