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El Dorado Fire

Unit Information

San Bernardino National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
602 S. Tippecanoe Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92408

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Incident Contact

El Dorado Fire Information
Email: 2020.eldorado@firenet.gov
Phone: 909-383-5688

Smoke from the El Dorado Fire in distance seen from Highway 38Image options: [ Full Size ]

Interior burning on the El Dorado Fire will continue for several weeks as the fire continues to burn in the steep and inaccessible portions of the San Gorgonio Wilderness, mostly visible below San Bernardino Peak and the north facing mountainside of Mountain Home Village, below Yucaipa Ridge.

Firefighters continue to monitor lingering smoldering trees and isolated islands of fuel within the interior areas of the fire, as well as continue working on suppression repair of constructed fire lines.

Evacuation warnings remain in place for the communities of Mountain Home Village, Forest Falls, Angelus Oaks, Seven Oaks, and Barton Flats. These communities are open to residents only until further notice. 

Forest roads and hiking trails within the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area remain closed. Please check the San Bernardino National Forest websitefor forest roads and trails information.

Please be advised that there will be delays in traffic on State Route highway 38 due to firefighters and aircraft continuing work in the area. Please drive with care and at slower speeds to help ensure firefighter safety. Please check https://roads.dot.ca.gov/ for updated highway conditions.

Post-fire emergency preparedness for local residents:

Residents and visitors in the fire area should be aware that recently burned areas are at a greater risk of mudflows and flash floods. Fires eliminate vegetation that hold soil and rocks in place and charred ground may be unable to absorb water. Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Teams and CAL FIRE Watershed Emergency Response Team (WERT) efforts are focused on the protection of human life, safety, and property. Rapid burn assessments identify areas that have increased potential for floods and mudflow, enabling county, state, and federal emergency managers to better plan their responses to future rain events. For more information, please visit the El Dorado Post-Fire BAER InciWeb page. 
  

Residents in the mountain and foothill areas should stay informed of weather forecasts. Register your cell phones with the Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) / Swift 911 and have an emergency plan.  Visit www.sbcounty.gov for more emergency preparedness information.    




 
El Dorado Fire narrative: 

The El Dorado Fire began on September 5th in El Dorado Park near Yucaipa, CA. Temperatures recorded the day the fire started were 15 to 20 degrees above normal, and in many cases broke new record high temperatures.  Over a 23-day period, the fire burned 22,680 acres in the Oak Glen / Yucaipa Ridge area and within the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area of the San Bernardino National Forest. The fire forced the evacuations of Oak Glen, north Yucaipa, Mountain Home Village, Forest Falls, and Angelus Oaks communities. The fire required 60 miles of fireline and ranged from a minimum elevation of 3030’ to a maximum of 10,640’. There were 4 residences damaged, 5 residences destroyed along with 15 other structures destroyed. 

The incident command post was established at Yucaipa Regional Park, Yucaipa, CA, and two interagency incident management teams rotated through the incident: California Interagency Management Team 11 (Incident Commander Chris Fogle), and California Interagency Management Team 13 (Incident Commander Mike Wakoski).   

At the peak, there were 1,351 personnel assigned to the fire including 17 hand crews, 177 engines, 20 water tenders, 17 dozers, and 10 helicopters.  Numerous Fixed Wing Tankers including a DC-10 assisted with aerial fire-retardant drops. Three Canadian Fire Bosses and a Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) Water Scooper were also used for the first time in Southern California and were based out of Big Bear Airport & Lake. 

This fire resulted in one firefighter fatality, Charlie Morton, a 14-year veteran firefighter with the San Bernardino National Forest, as well as thirteen injuries. The memorial service for fallen USDA Forest Service firefighter Charles Edward Morton was held on Friday, September 25, 2020, at 11 a.m. in San Bernardino, CA. 

Nearly 3,000 phone calls were placed by affected residents to the San Bernardino National Forest’s Fire Information Center, (909-383-5688), and nearly one million pageviews on https://Inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7148/ Two community meeting were held in Forest Falls and in Angelus Oak as the respective communities were repopulated. Two additional Facebook Live events were held to answer questions regarding the fire.   

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseHuman Caused
Date of OriginSaturday September 05th, 2020 approx. 10:30 AM
LocationCity of Yucaipa, Oak Glen, Mountain Home Village, Forest Falls, Angelus Oaks
Incident CommanderMark Munoz, U.S. Forest Service
Coordinates34.053 latitude, -116.992 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel93
Size22,744 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained95%
Estimated Containment DateThursday December 31st, 2020 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Fuels that remain inside the fire perimeter continue to consume due to lower humidities and peak

seasonal fuel dryness.

Significant Events

BDF Type 4 team assumed command of the incident 10/25/2020 at 0700.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Inventory and implementation of suppression repair will continue.

Projected Incident Activity

There still remains the slight probability of fire spread if rollout ignites vegetation outside the perimeter.

Remarks

Evacuation warnings are still in place for the communities of Mountain Home Village, Forest Falls, Angelus Oaks, Seven Oaks, and Barton Flats. These communities are open to residents only, until further notice.

An emergency forest closure order for the vicinity of the El Dorado Fire was enacted on October 9, 2020.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Lowest daytime humidity for inland areas be in the teens through Saturday October 30, then fall to 6 - 12% for Sunday and Monday as a weak Santa Ana event develops and high temperatures climb to 10 - 15 degrees above normal.

There will continue to be local northeast to east winds gusting 15 - 25 mph near the coastal foothills, mainly late nights and mornings, through Saturday.

Winds will increase for Sunday and Monday, with the potential for gusts of 30 - 35 mph. Confidence remains low on the strength of

the winds, and at this time it looks like near critical fire weather conditions are possible.

Offshore flow weakens and gradually transitions to onshore flow Tuesday and Wednesday, November 3 and 4.