APPLE FIRE AUGUST 4, 2020 Morning UPDATE
Start / Report Date: July 31, 2020
Cause: Human Caused
Fuels Involved: Chaparral & Brush
Size: 26,850 acres
Location: Banning Canyon
Structures Destroyed: 12
Percent contained: 15%
Strategy: Full Suppression
Hand Crews: 31
Fixed wing: 2
Water Tenders: 50
Total Personnel: 2,565
Current Situation: The Apple Fire is continuing to spread to the north across the head of the Mill Creek Canyon, and east into the San Gorgonio Wilderness. As the fire burns into the wilderness the vegetation is becoming sparse limiting fire intensity. The fire remained active Monday night into Tuesday morning.
Overnight, firefighters were able to complete construction of fireline on the southwest corner of the perimeter. This and other work along the southern and southeastern perimeters increased the percentage of fire containment. Infrared surveys are indicating that there are several pockets of heat in the area of Pine Bench (west side), Banning Canyon (south side) and Millard Canyon (east side). Hand crews were able to work the areas of Pine Bench and Millard Canyon but due to the danger of falling trees they did not engage in the Banning Pass. Structure protection groups have been established in the areas of Oak Glen and Forest Falls.
Today, in addition to continuing structure protection and perimeter control, firefighters will be scouting the San Gorgonio wilderness to develop a control plan to address the spread of the fire to the northeast.
Damage assessment teams are deployed and will be surveying the fire area for damage to structures and infrastructure.
Evacuations / Closures: For Riverside County Residents: please visit https://www.rivcoready.org/ActiveEvents for an interactive map that will allow you to enter your address to see if you are in an evacuation area.
For San Bernardino County Residents: The community of Oak Glen is under an evacuation order. Forest Falls, Pioneertown, and Rim Rock are all under an evacuation warning.
The San Gorgonio Wilderness has been closed to all use. An Emergency Forest Closure Order is in effect as of August 2, 2020. The order prohibits all entry into the San Gorgonio Wilderness and some adjacent areas. This order also includes the Pacific Crest Hiking Trail between the Forest Boundary and Forest Road 1N01. Additionally, all Forest Service recreation areas in the Forest Falls area are closed.
Evacuation Center: An evacuation center has been opened at Beaumont High School, 39139 Cherry Valley Boulevard, Beaumont, CA. Evacuated animals are also being accepted at the high school. Animal Control is on scene.
Road Closures: There are numerous road closures in the area at the following intersections: High & Cherry, High & Jonathan, High & Winsap, Orchard & Avenida San Timateo, Orchard & Avenida Miravilla, Orchard & Oak Glen, Cherry Valley Blvd. & Bellflower Ave., Sunset & Wilson, and Bluff & Mias Canyon.
Weather: Warm and dry conditions will prevail across the incident today. There will be a slight drop in temperatures and relative humidity will increase through the afternoon before dropping back down to the teens later tonight.
Donations: The Apple fire camp has been established. The camp is essentially a small city that includes sleeping areas, a business area and a large kitchen that provides all assigned personnel three meals per day. Area residents who wish to make food donations are encouraged to contribute to local food pantries.
Cooperating and Assisting Organizations: Riverside County Emergency Management Department, Red Cross, and Southern California Edison.
Safety Message: In addition to dealing with the inherent hazards of fighting a wildland fire, firefighters are taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by limiting inter-crew face-to-face interactions to what is operationally necessary to engage the fire safely.
Incident website: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6902/