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|August 10, 2020|
Raging Apple Fire fought from the air; 20,000 acres seared in SB National Forest
BANNING – (INT) – More than a thousand fire fighters have joined the battle against Southern California’s biggest wildfire of the year.
The Apple Fire has covered more than 20,000 acres on its rampage from Cherry Valley into the San Bernardino National Forest.
Damage to buildings has been limited, but fire fighters are digging in for a long fight that could last for weeks.
The northern and eastern flanks of the fire are in very steep, rugged mountainsides which are not accessible to firefighting vehicles. Helicopters and fixed wing air tankers are leading the offensive.
Thousands have fled the advancing flames. 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 was closed to all recreational use effective Sunday. This order includes the Pacific Crest Hiking Trail between the forest boundary and forest road 1N01.
All Forest Service recreation areas in the Forest Fall area are closed due a voluntary evacuation order.
Fire weather has featured triple-digit heat. Cooling is predicted this week, but accompanying winds could be problematic.
It was initially reported as two separate fires along Oak Glen Road shortly before 5pm Friday. The conflagration is being fueled by the hottest temperatures of the year.
Clear skies enabled massive smoke clouds to be seen throughout the Inland Empire and as far away as San Diego.
There is no estimated time for containment.
Story Date: August 2, 2020