According to inciweb’s Saturday morning update, the Apple Fire, which started Friday, July 31 near Cherry Valley has now burned 32,412 acres and is 35% contained. Three people have been injured and four homes have burned. The number of personnel assigned to fight the Apple Fire has increased to 2,845. This includes 42 hand crews, 276 engines, 24 dozers, 40 water tenders, 18 helicopters and two airplanes.
The Current Situation (inciweb 8/8/2020 at 9:10 a.m.):
Last night, firefighters finished a firing operation that began on Thursday. Throughout the day Friday, a large column of smoke was visible on the east flank of the fire in the Millard Canyon area. This planned burn operation was conducted to decrease fuels in order to limit the movement of the fire to the east. Firefighters used dozer line, hand line and a road as a fuel break as they fired out vegetation along the eastern edge of the fire. Firefighters will be working that area over the next few days, improving the line by extinguishing any materials near the line that could potentially spot across the new perimeter. Due to the hard work of the firefighters on this firing operation, smoke impacts to the communities east of the fire should be diminished. An Evacuation Order was lifted for the Oak Glen area of San Bernardino County on Friday. Successful work over the last several days has reduced the threat to the area considerably. Firefighters will continue working on the Yucaipa Ridge to improve the perimeter line. The number of structure protection resources in Oak Glen and Forest Falls will be reduced as the lines become more secure. The fire has stayed in place in the San Gorgonio Wilderness to the north. Today, two teams of firefighters will be flown to the area and will begin to build perimeter control line around the northeast portion of the fire, primarily in the wilderness. The southern portion of the fire remains in patrol status.
Evacuations / Closures:
---In Riverside County Evacuation Warnings are in effect for the following:
• all areas east of Potrero Road, north of Morongo Road, west of Whitewater Canyon and south of the San Bernardino County Line
• all areas west of HWY 62, north of Interstate 10, South of the San Bernardino county line and east of Whitewater Canyon
Riverside County residents: please visit https://www.rivcoready.org/ActiveEvents for an interactive map that will allow you to enter your address to determine if you are within these evacuation warning areas.
---In San Bernardino County Evacuation Warnings are in effect for the following areas:
• Forest Falls, Pioneertown, Rimrock, the community of Morongo Valley, including both sides of Highway 62
San Bernardino County residents: please visit http://www.sbcounty.gov/sbcfire/Tens/TensContact.aspx to sign up for emergency alerts for your area.
The San Gorgonio Wilderness is closed to all use. An Emergency Forest Closure Order is in effect as of August 2, 2020. The order prohibits all entry into the San Gorgonio Wilderness and some adjacent areas. Additionally, all Forest Service recreation areas in the Forest Falls area are closed. Fire restrictions have increased across the San Bernardino National Forest. Please refer to the Forest web page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf for additional details.
Weather: Warmer and drier conditions are expected over the incident today. Temperatures are expected to be 85 to 95 degrees with decreasing humidity (10-20 percent) over the fire area.
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail: Due to closures in both the San Bernardino National Forest and the Bureau of Land management The PCT is closed to all traffic between the Cottonwood Trailhead, near the community of San Gorgonio and Forest Road 1N101 (Pipes Canyon Road).
Smoke Advisory: Smoke from the Apple Fire has impacted communities to the east. Unhealthful air quality can result in the exacerbation of some medical issues, especially lung problems. Residents with medical issues affected by smoke are encouraged to stay indoors and avoid strenuous activity is smoky conditions.
Donations: Two Apple Fire camps have been established. The camps are essentially small cities that include sleeping areas, a business area and a large kitchen that provides all assigned personnel three meals per day. Area residents who wish to make food donations are encouraged to contribute to local food pantries.
Cooperating and Assisting Organizations: Riverside County Emergency Management Department, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Riverside County Sheriffs, San Bernardino County Sheriffs, San Bernardino County Fire, California Highway Patrol and Southern California Edison.
Safety Message: In addition to dealing with the inherent hazards of fighting a wildland fire, firefighters are taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by limiting inter-crew face-to-face interactions to what is operationally necessary to engage the fire safely. There is a temporary flight restriction over the fire and vicinity. It is illegal to fly drones within the restricted area. Remember, “When you fly, we can’t”.