Wreckage of a fishing boat that caught fire off the southern Oregon Coast washed ashore Thursday near the nesting site of a threatened shorebird.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department says the boat—a 64-foot vessel named Ann Kathleen—departed from Westport, Wash., and caught fire Thursday, May 2, near Bandon, Ore. The crew was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard and no injuries were reported.
The boat washed ashore, still on fire, the same afternoon on a remote southern Oregon beach that is designated as a recovery site for the western snowy plover, a threatened bird species.
The Parks Department writes in a statement that the wreckage site is near a plover nesting area, and that local and federal agencies plan to "evaluate the site for toxic materials and develop any necessary response plan to protect the beach and nearby shorebird nesting area."
The snowy plover was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1993, after losing habitat to invasive grasses, dune shrinkage and predation. During nesting season, March 15 through Sept. 15, human activity is prohibited in breeding areas.
"While remote," the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department writes of the shipwreck site, "beach hikers are advised to steer clear of the debris area. Pedestrians must stay on the wet sand within the plover nesting area."