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Sunday Morning Update: Lake Fire Creeps Up To 30,716 acres, Containment Holding At 50%


[UPDATED AT 12:15pm SUNDAY 6/28/15]    The U.S. Forest Service reported Sunday morning that The Lake Fire burning in the San Bernardino Mountains scorched an additional 200 acres overnight, increasing to 30,726 acres of timber, chaparral, and desert foothill brush spanning some 50 square miles of national forest, wilderness, private, and Indian lands over ten days.

Firefighters held the fire overnight (Saturday/Sunday) to 50 percent containment.  The Forest Service reported Sunday morning that fire growth was "very minimal" last night, adding that the growth that did occur was in the San Gorgonio Wilderness on the southern side of the fire.

The northwestern perimeter is fully contained, though monitoring of hotspots will continue for weeks and in some areas perhaps months until the first significant mountain rain or snow.

The cost of the fire is approaching $30-million.  As of Sunday morning 6/28, the Forest Service reports nearly 2,300 firefighters are deployed, up from around 1,900 a few days ago.  4 firefighters have been reported injured since the incident began June 17.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Press-Enterprise's website pe.com reports:
Sunday brought some bad news, as well: Flames destroyed a 3,000-square-foot home and two outbuildings in the northeast flank of the fire sometime in the past 2-3 days. Bellah said he didn't know the exact location. No one was home at the time, but it was unclear whether this was a permanent or seasonal residence.  http://www.pe.com/articles/fire-771894-sunday-bellah.html

As kvcrnews.org reported in updates Saturday, the CHP reopened Highway 38 to public traffic Saturday morning, after portions of the highway between the communities of Angelus Oaks and Woodlands/Sugarloaf had been closed for ten days to make way for firefighting and emergency vehicles. Also Saturday, the Forest Service announced evacuation orders had been lifted for all areas except one, the Burns Canyon area near the fire's northeastern border.

The Forest Service update this morning (Sunday) also reported:

Current Fire Situation
Night operations continued to monitor and secure the lines east of Onyx Peak. Firefighters working the Three Sisters Peaks area yesterday had success in securing a section of the perimeter.

Today fire officials anticipate containment percentage to increase as work progresses north and east of Onyx Peak. Firefighters will be flown back into the wilderness today if weather conditions permit. Suppression-repair crews will begin to rehabilitate the fire line. Travelers on State Route 38 may observe heavy equipment on the western end of the fire due to their activity. Resources will return to Three Sisters Peaks today and continue to secure the eastern perimeter.

The damage assessment team reported the loss of a residence and three out buildings in the Burns Canyon area. The team will continue to evaluate the fire area for further damage.

Weather & Fire Behavior
The weather is expected to remain the same as yesterday with cloud cover and relative humidity of 20 to 30 percent. Incident meteorologist predicts a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms over the fire area today. There will continue to be a threat of thunderstorms over the fire area throughout the week. Localized heavy rainfall and strong erratic winds could be associated with the thunderstorms.

Fire behavior was minimal through the night and is expected to be minimal today. Pockets of fuel continue to burn in the interior of the fire.

Special Notice
State Route 38 is open to through traffic. Access off of State Route 38 will continue to be restricted to camp staff and recreation residence owners only.

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)

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For the latest official U.S. Forest Service information on the Lake Fire burning in the San Bernardino Mountains (including road closures, evacuations, smoke advisories, and outlook), click on this link:?


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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