San Bernardino "Old Water Fire" Update - Saturday

Oct 26, 2019

According to a report from the San Bernardino Sun Newspaper, by Friday evening, containment on the Old Water fire in San Bernardino grew to 85% .

San Bernardino County fire officials said the blaze had scorched 145 acres along Highway 18 in Waterman Canyon. Fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said Friday that the department had no information to announce on how and where the fire started as the investigation continues.

Firefighters worked overnight to build a strong line around the Old Water fire on the edge of the San Bernardino National Forest. A red-flag warning expired at 5 p.m.

Fanned by strong winds, the blaze prompted about 80 homes to be evacuated. However, residents were allowed to return late Thursday, when fire officials announced they were lifting the evacuation orders at 8 p.m.

All roads are now open, however, fire officials warn motorists to be cautious when in the areas near the fire footprint. “Use caution, as fire crews will be in the area building fire containment lines,” they said via Twitter.

The wind-driven vegetation blaze ignited after 2:00 AM on Thursday, very close to where the Old Fire started on Oct. 25, 2003, and crept into neighborhoods.

No structures were reported to have been damaged although the flames did come close to homes. No injuries have been reported.

As the blaze continued into its second day, it marked the 16-year anniversary of another major fire in the area, the similarly named: Old Fire. That fire went on to burn thousands of acres when it merged with the Grand Prix fire and led to six deaths.

This was the second fire in San Bernardino in less than a week driven by powerful Santa Ana winds. On Monday, the Little Mountain fire destroyed two homes, damaged six others and resulted with half a dozen people being injured.

Because of high fire danger, officials with the San Bernardino National Forest, citing elevated fire danger, have banned campfires on forest lands starting Friday, Oct. 25. The campfire order is due to expire Dec. 31.