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Sat. Night Update: Lake Fire Now 50% Contained; Hwy 38 Reopened; Most Evacuations Lifted



The U.S. Forest Service reports the Lake Fire burning in the San Bernardino Mountains is 50 percent contained as of Saturday evening, 6/27.  Hwy. 38 is open and most evacuations have been lifted.

The Forest Service 6:30pm Saturday news update reports the total acreage burned holding steady at  30,526 acres.  The fire behavior today was described as "minimal with creeping and smoldering, with isolated tree torching and occasional small uphill runs."  Earlier, officials expressed hope that cooler, moister weather would continue through today, which would allow firefighters to continue to increase containment along the fire's northeastern and southern perimeter.  Indeed, weather in that area of the San Bernardino Mountains' eastern foothills has had mostly cloudy skies and higher humidity levels than earlier this week.

At 8:00am this morning (Saturday), the CHP reopened Highway 38 between Angelus Oaks and Lake Williams to public traffic for the first time in more than a week. Also, the CHP reopened Highway 38 between Angelus Oaks and Lake Williams to public traffic for the first time in more than a week. Also, most evacuation orders issued to communities around the burn area have been lifted.

Credit inciweb.nwcg.gov
This is the latest available Lake Fire Perimeter Map as of 6:00am 6/27.

In the story we posted on kvcrnews earlier this morning (Saturday), the U.S. Forest Service listed these developments in an update issued just after 10:00am:

Current Fire Situation
Crews working through the night had a productive and safe shift. They continued to patrol the contained fire perimeter on the northwest side, south of Highway 38. Crews on the northeast part of the fire—from the Rainbow area north to Onyx Peak—installed approximately 3,000 feet of hose and cached supplies for today’s crews to use as they construct direct line near the fire perimeter. Previous retardant drops held the fire overnight on the southwest perimeter in the San Gorgonio Wilderness.

Today (Saturday) crews were to continue patrolling and mopping up the containment line on the northwest fire perimeter. On the uncontained northeast and eastern areas of the fire, crews continue to build direct and indirect line where safe to do so. Approximately 120 firefighters have been working and camping in the wilderness. They were to be flown out by this evening due to the increased likelihood of thunderstorms. When the threat of thunderstorms decreases, crews will continue their suppression efforts.

Weather & Fire Behavior
High temperatures were expected to be in the low to mid-80s with the relative humidity at 18 to 28 percent. Slight chance isolated thunderstorms over the fire area. Fire behavior analysts did not anticipate significant growth or activity on the fire today. The fire has been active on the east side as unburned fuel between the Lake Fire and the 2006 Sawtooth Fire is consumed. Smoke will continue to be visible south of the wilderness and east of the Three Sisters Peaks.

Special Notice
In coordination with fire officials, the San Bernardino County Sheriff, and CHP, Highway 38 reopened this morning at 8:00.

With the exception of Burns Canyon, which remains under mandatory evacuation, all evacuations have been lifted. All US Forest Service lands within the affected fire area remain closed for recreation purposes. The camps in the area will be accessible for staff only to conduct maintenance.

For detailed information, please visit the following websites:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ (Lake Fire)

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED AT 7:30PM SATURDAY 6/27/15.  For KVCR's coverage earlier this morning, go to http://kvcrnews.org/post/first-big-break-lake-fire-firefighters-get-40-containment-thanks-better-weather


Ken Vincent has retired. We appreciate the way he shared his expertise with many of our young interns and reporters over the nearly eight years he spent as KVCR's lead journalist and Morning Edition host. We wish him a happy and relaxing retirement as he spends more time in his garden and, as he mentioned, more time on the golf course. Thanks Ken!
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