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Lake Fire Now At 70% Containment, Holding At 31,359 Acres


The Lake Fire burning in the San Bernardino Mountains south and east of Highway 38 is holding at 31,359 acres burned and is at 70 percent containment, as of Thursday morning, 7/2.  The fire has grown minimally over the past few days, and the U.S. Forest Service has reduced the personnel deployed to fight the blaze to just more than 1,400, down from nearly 2,300 personnel assigned to the fire just a few days ago.

Credit inciweb.nwcg.gov
Lake Fire Perimeter Map as of yesterday, July 1 (click on image to zoom in).

At it’s 8:00am update Thursday morning, the Forest Service reported these details:

Current Fire Situation

Mopping up hotspots in the wilderness remains the priority for fire-containment. Crews continue to work in steep wilderness terrain to connect the containment lines. Additional efforts are focused on areas of the incident to repair suppression activities. Suppression repair crews will be progressing along the fireline from Rainbow Lane to Onyx Peak. Both of these efforts—mop up and repair—are important to complete prior to downsizing the operation and transferring management to the local fire resources.

CCC crews rolling hose at Lake Fire base camp.

Once crews have extinguished all hotspots in an area of the fire, all the hose and equipment used during suppression efforts must be returned to base camp. The California Conservation Corp (CCC) crews are instrumental in organizing and shipping the supplies to the national fire cache for use on future fires. The CCC has eight crews assisting Lake Fire personnel in a variety of jobs, such as maintaining basecamp facilities, distributing fire supplies and assisting the caterer.

Weather & Fire Behavior

The chance of rain and thunderstorms will begin to diminish as a hotter dryer air mass pushes into the area. Yesterday 0.1 to 0.2 inch of rain fell on the fire. Relative humidity increased due to the rain, and fire behavior will continue to be minimal. The overnight infrared mapping flight detected 30 spots of heat, primarily stump holes, within 300 feet of the southern perimeter in the wilderness. Another flight will happen this morning to further help crews identify hotspots.

Traffic Safety

Fire crews and helicopters will continue to be visible to the public throughout the holiday weekend. Motorists may observe movement of firefighting vehicles along State Route 38. Please be alert while traveling on the highway and yield the right-of-way to emergency personnel and vehicles.


The public should call California Land Management (909-866-8550) with questions regarding campground closures.

The Lake Fire was reported just before 4:00 pm on June 17, 2015. The cause of the fire is under investigation. It is approximately 31,359 acres in size and burning in timber. It is 70% contained with no perimeter growth reported overnight.

All evacuations have been lifted and Highway 38 has been re-opened, however all Forest Service lands in the area of the fire remain closed to recreation purposes. Please view the Fire Closure Order and Map of Fire Closure.

The following is a list of closed sites:

Day-Use Areas: Barton Flats Visitor Center, Greyback Amphitheatre, and Jenks Lake Day Use Site are closed.

Cabins: Owners of cabins administered by the Forest Service are allowed to access their structures during the daytime, but overnight stays are not authorized at this time. This includes cabins in the Barton Flats, Stetson Creek, Round Cienega, Seven Oaks, Lost Creek, South Fork, and Fish Creek Tracts

Campgrounds: Campgrounds along Hwy 38 will remain closed through the 9th of July including: Barton Flats, San Gorgonio, South Fork, Skyline, Council, Heart Bar, Oso, Lobo, Heart Bar Equestrian, Wildhorse Equestrian, Coon Creek Cabin, Coon Creek Yellow-post Sites, Mission Springs, Green Spot, and Juniper Springs. For campground reservation cancellations and refunds, please call the NRRS reservation service at 877-444-6777. For additional information about campground closures, please contact California Land Management at 909-866-8550

Organizational Camps: Special Use Camps remain closed to campers. Camps are accessible for staff only to conduct maintenance.

The following roads are closed due to direct impacts by the fire and fire suppression: 1N01, 2N01, 2N02, 2N05, 2N61Y, 2N64Y, 2N68Y, 2N69Y, 2N71Y, 2N73Y, 2N74Y, 2N75Y 2N76Y, 2N83Y, 3N03

The following roads in the lower Santa Anna River Area are closed due to flood risk below the burned area: 2N93, 2N06, 1N54, 1N94, 1N09, 1N07, 1N72, 1N45, 1N03

Trails: All hiking trails into the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area remain closed, including Vivian, Momyer, and Big Falls trailhead in the Forest Falls Area; as well as the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) between Whitewater Preserve to Onyx Summit.

The fire behavior overnight was minimal with creeping and smoldering. No perimeter growth was reported on the fire.

Resources on scene include:
40 engines
2 Airtankers (Also available to new fires)
16 helicopters
46 crews
6 water tenders
1 dozers
1464 personnel assigned to the fire

There have been five minor firefighter injuries. One structure and three outbuildings have been destroyed.

Fire management is under Unified Command with Cal Fire. The Incident Command Post is located at Big Bear High School.

Ben's Weather Webcam has updated images of the fire area every 30 seconds

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

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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