Monday Aft. Update: Lake Fire Still Holding At 30,726 Acres, 60% Contained, Cost Up to $30 Million
[UPDATED AT 12:30PM MONDAY 6/29/15] The U.S. Forest Service reported this afternoon that the Lake Fire burning in the San Bernardino Mountains is still approximately 30,726 acres in size and is now 60% contained. As kvcrnews.org reported over the weekend, Highway 38 was reopened to public traffic Saturday morning. Yesterday (Sunday), the last evacuation order was lifted -- in the Burns Canyon area near the northeastern perimeter. That means that all evacuation orders have been lifted. The Forest Service says all Forest Service lands within the affected fire area remain closed for recreation purposes.
Also today, the Forest Service said it would no longer provide multiple updates per day; as of today (Monday), officials will release one Lake Fire update per day.
As of Monday morning, 6/29, 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 Forest Service reports the cost of the fire has now reached $30-million. One structure and three outbuildings have been destroyed. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Lake Fire Perimeter Map (posted above) shows firefighters have been able to establish new fire lines along the farthest western portion of the fire. Also over the weekend, firefighters secured more containment of the western edge of the northeastern portion of the burn area.
More cloud cover, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity over the past couple of days have helped firefighters triple containment of the Lake Fire from 19% Friday to 60% today (Monday).
Fire officials said scattered rain showers were present over the fire area Sunday, bringing up to a tenth of an inch of rain on some parts of the fire. Incident meteorologists predict the possibility of scattered thunderstorms. Gusty and erratic winds are possible with any storm.
In it's 8:00am update Monday morning, 6/29, the Forest Servicr reported:
Current Fire Situation
Night operations experienced little fire behavior. Firefighters worked in the Onyx Peak area, finding and extinguishing logs and stump holes that were still holding heat. Today firefighters will continue to grid for hot spots along the containment lines. Crews working north of the Three Sisters Peaks will be constructing fire line where it is safe in steep, difficult-to-access terrain. Firefighters will be assessing the possibility of working the fire line south of Three Sisters Peaks and into the South Fork drainage. If weather permits, crews will be flown into the wilderness to construct line along the southwest portion of the fire. Aerial resources continue to assist firefighters in all active fire areas. Crews will be using heavy equipment in areas where there is no longer fire activity to begin suppression repair tactics. The damage assessment team continues to evaluate the fire area for further damage. The team has reported the loss of a residence and three out buildings in the Burns Canyon area.
Beginning with this update, only one Lake Fire update will be released per day.
Weather & Fire Behavior
The monsoonal trend will continue to bring showers and thunderstorms to the fire area for the next few days. Crews can expect localized rainfall and gusty, erratic winds from the storms. Fire behavior has diminished significantly; however, there is still heat along the perimeter in most areas of the fire. Pockets of unburned fuel continue to burn especially in areas that did not burn in the 2006 Sawtooth and Millard Fires. Motorists along Interstate 10 near Palm Springs may continue to see smoke from the Ten Thousand Foot Ridge in the San Gorgonio Wilderness.
State Route 38 is open to through traffic. Motorists may observe suppression repair crews and movement of heavy equipment along the highway. Please be alert while traveling on State Route 38 and yield the right-of-way to emergency personnel and vehicles.
As a result of the efforts on the fire, San Bernardino County Sheriff, in conjunction with unified command, has lifted the evacuation order for Burns Canyon residents.
For detailed information, please visit the following websites:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ (Lake Fire)
[KVCR UPDATED THIS STORY AT 1:00PM MONDAY 6/29/15.]