Start / Report Date: July 31, 2020
Cause: Human Caused
Fuels Involved: Chaparral & Brush
Size: 33,424 acres
Location: Banning Canyon
Homes destroyed: 4
Percent contained: 80%
Strategy: Full Suppression
Hand Crews: 22
Fixed wing: 2
Water Tenders: 24
Total Personnel: 1,159
Great strides were made on the Apple Fire yesterday on containment, which is now at 80%. Two hotshot crews are working along a ridge to the north and will strengthen those lines over the next few days. Firefighters continue to patrol areas, cool hotspots, backhaul equipment, and repair impacts on the landscape from suppression activities.
Yesterday, smoke could be seen rising from an area in the northeastern corner of the fire. Due to the steep terrain, firefighters are unable to directly reach the pocket of burning vegetation but will continue to monitor the fire as it burns back against itself. A rocky chute near this area serves as natural barrier, so the probability of the fire progressing from this point is low. Until the area experiences significant rainfall, smoke from patches of burning vegetation well within the fire’s edge may continue to be seen from a distance. Today, helicopters will address hotspots with water drops.
Skies were overcast above much of the fire this morning. Some high-level moisture from Hurricane Elida will move into the area and bring a slight chance of showers and possible lightning strikes at high elevations. Gusty winds and high temperatures persist through the week, leading up to a heat wave this weekend.
A Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team was established by the San Bernardino National Forest to begin a burned area assessment of the Apple Fire which also burned on state, private, and federal lands. Along with the Forest Service BAER team, a California state burn area assessment team will be evaluating burned private lands while a US Department of Interior BAER team will be surveying burned Morongo Tribal land. All three teams will be sharing information and data as they complete their assessments and subsequent reports.
BAER emergency response efforts are focused on the protection of human life, safety, and property. Rapid assessments evaluate the burned area to identify watersheds having increased potential for post-fire flooding, sediment flows, and rock slides. Efforts are also directed towards critical cultural and natural resource values, such as water quality. For more information, please visit the Apple Post-Fire BAER InciWeb page or call the BAER information line at 707-853-4243 (8 am – 8 pm).
Evacuations / Closures:
There are no remaining Evacuation Warnings in effect.
One easy and potentially life-saving task that all residents can do right now is to sign up for the emergency alerts system in their county. These systems help public safety officials to provide critical updates, such as evacuation notifications, as quickly as possible.
San Bernardino Residents
Telephone Emergency Notification System
Riverside County Residents
The San Gorgonio Wilderness is 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. Additionally, all Forest Service recreation areas in the Forest Falls area are closed. Fire restrictions have increased across the San Bernardino National Forest. Please refer to the Forest web page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf for additional details.
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail: Due to closures in both the San Bernardino National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management, the PCT is closed to all traffic between the Cottonwood Trailhead, near the community of San Gorgonio and Forest Road 1N01 (Pipes Canyon Road).
There is a temporary flight restriction over the fire and vicinity. It is illegal to fly drones within the restricted area. Remember, “When you fly, we can’t”.
Cooperating and Assisting Organizations: Riverside County Emergency Management Department, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Riverside County Sheriffs, San Bernardino County Sheriffs, San Bernardino County Fire, California Highway Patrol and Southern California Edison.
Safety Message: During the 2020 fire year, the most important thing that the public can do is work to prevent human-caused fires. From following fire restrictions to talking to neighbors about defensible space around their homes, individual actions can reduce the number and impact of human-caused fires. Additionally, these efforts can preserve firefighting resources, reduce the need for firefighters to move throughout the country, and minimize exposure to and transmission of COVID-19 among incident personnel and communities served.