ALERT Southern California's Apple wildfire continues to spread as officials order nearly 8,000 people to evacuate

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Southern California's Apple wildfire continues to spread as officials order nearly 8,000 people to evacuate
Excessive heat warnings have been issued as firefighters struggle to contain the flames
By Caitlin McFall | Fox News

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A wildfire in southern California, which has been deemed the Apple fire, has forced evacuation orders in several neighborhoods after burning more than 4,000 acres and destroying at least one home Saturday.

The fire, which started in Riverside, an area roughly 75 miles from Los Angeles, is said to be zero percent contained even though 375 firefighters, dozens of engines and air support are on the scene.
Evacuation warnings and orders have been set for the Potato Canyon and the Oak Glen areas, as the fire has moved into San Bernardino County, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) on Saturday.
“Approximately 2,586 homes totaling approximately 7,800 people are under evacuation orders,” the Riverside Fire Department tweeted Saturday evening.

FEMA CHIEF WARNS EAST COAST RESIDENTS TO PREPARE FOR HURRICANE ISAIAS: 'HEED' STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES
The fire was first reported to responders Friday afternoon, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation. One house and two structures have reportedly been destroyed.

Firefighters are working in extreme heat, with temperatures reaching up to 103 degrees in Riverside and 104 degrees in San Bernardino, according to the National Weather Service.

FIRE CONTINUES TO RAVAGE ARGENTINA'S DELTA; AUTHORITIES STRUGGLE TO COMBAT THE SPREAD

CAL FIRE could not immediately be reached for comment.
An excessive heat warning has also been issued in San Bernardino and Riverside County valleys, advising people to stay out of the sun, drink plenty of fluids and to check up on relatives of neighbors -- noting that leaving children and pets in cars during the heat warning is strictly disallowed.
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The National Weather Service has warned that hot and dry weather is expected through the next week, and winds are expected to be around 16 mph through the evening, with it becoming less windy through the beginning of the week.
Southern California experiences fire hazards well into the fall season.
 

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Apple fire grows to 12,000 acres, prompts more evacuations in Cherry Valley



A Cherry Valley home was destroyed by the Apple fire Friday, but the neighbor’s house survived on Saturday, August 1, 2020. As of now this is the only reported home confirmed destroyed. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Brian Rokos | brokos@scng.com and City News Service | news@socalnews.com | The Press-Enterprise
PUBLISHED: August 1, 2020 at 7:45 a.m. | UPDATED: August 1, 2020 at 8:15 p.m.

An afternoon flare-up of the Apple fire in Cherry Valley on Saturday, Aug. 1, spread the acreage burned to 12,000 acres and prompted new evacuations as firefighters attacked the sweeping blaze on a blistering hot day.
The 12,000-acre figure was up from 4,125 acres reported earlier in the day.
The flare-up was moving northwest from Pine Bench Road, said Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department Capt. Fernando Herrera. The mushroom cloud of black, brown, gray and white smoke could be seen for miles.
RELATED: This map shows the location, evacuations for the Apple Fire in Cherry Valley

Homes in the path of the flames were threatened but were not in imminent danger, he said at about 2 p.m.
The fire that started Friday was burning intensely in drainages and canyons in the higher elevations and was being spread by ridgetop winds.
More retardant-dropping airplanes and water-dropping helicopters were ordered as a result.
Just after 2 p.m., evacuations were ordered in two areas:
– East of Oak Glen Road, west of Banning Canyon Road and along Pine Bench Road.

– North of Wilson Street, east of Sunset Avenue and west of Hathaway Street.
Then at about 5 p.m., the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department issued voluntary evacuation orders for the Oak Glen and Forest Falls vicinities. However, by 6:37 p.m. the Forest Falls order was downgraded to an evacuation warning. Later, Oak Glen was under an evacuation order (not voluntary).
#AppleFire The San Bernardino County community of Oak Glen is under an Evacuation Order.
— San Bernardino County Sheriff (@sbcountysheriff) August 2, 2020
But by 6:53 p.m., Riverside County issued a new evacuation warning for the area north of Morongo Road, east of Millard Canyon Road, west of Whitewater Canyon Road.
About 2,600 homes totaling approximately 7,800 people were under evacuation orders, Cal Fire said at 5:15 p.m.
All earlier evacuations remained in place.
Herrera urged residents not to wait until the flames were near to evacuate. But the Banning Bench, which previously had been threatened, “looks pretty good right now,” Herrera said. “Last night was touch-and-go.”
The fire remained at 0% containment.
As the fire continued to push east, it entered the northern tip of the Morongo Reservation on Saturday. However, Morongo fire officials did not expect the fire to spread further into the reservation and it did not pose a threat to any structures there.
As of early Saturday evening, only one home was confirmed destroyed. Firefighters were having difficulty assessing the damage from the flames because the charred ground was too hot to walk on, Herrera said. The air temperature, higher than 100 degrees, prompted fire crews to frequently hydrate and take breaks.
“It’s hard to take a break, especially if you are making progress. But a (firefighter) needs to be able to say, ‘Hey, I need a break,’ ” Herrera said.
The Apple fire in Cherry Valley appears to be kicking up. Evacuations in Potato Canton west to Raymon Flat just announced. pic.twitter.com/4RWOjq6YTC
— Brian Rokos (@Brian_Rokos) August 1, 2020
Cherry Valley is a community of rising elevations with twisting, narrow roads north of Banning near the San Bernardino County border.
Firefighters on Saturday morning were focusing their efforts on reinforcing fire breaks in the Banning Bench area, where the head of the fire burned in the canyon below.





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Flames from the Cherry Valley Fire burn on the hillside behind a home on Camino del Norte road and north of Bogart County Park in Beaumont on Friday, July 31, 2020. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

But the fire mostly was just smoking, Herrera said at the time.


“We don’t have any raging flames that you would expect right now,” he said about 8:30 a.m.


That changed, however, as the humidity decreased during the day.


.


Fire activity this morning on the #AppleFIRE – courtesy of CAL FIRE/RCOFD. #RivCoNOW #CALFIREservingCA pic.twitter.com/p4x8h0xmEc
— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) August 1, 2020









Some evacuees went to the American Red Cross evacuation center at Beaumont High, where the plume of smoke loomed in the background.


The threat of COVID-19 also loomed. Instead of setting up cots, volunteers provided hotel stays for evacuees with nowhere else to go, said John Medina, a Red Cross worker and former Corona fire chief.


Thirty-one evacuees stopped by Friday, and seven were put up in hotels. Nine had come by as of 1 p.m. Saturday and two were given hotel stays, Medina said.


The school gym was also being used as a cooling center.


Rick and Rose Stewart elected to stay at their home on Avenida Miravilla, a hilltop property with a panoramic view to the southwest that includes Lake Perris.


They built the home in 1997, Rick said Saturday, one year after he proposed to Rose on the vacant land.


So when the fire started, Rick, Rose and their son Jon decided to fight the flames themselves with a garden hose. Rose, 65, drove away from the flames. Rick and Jon stood their ground.


“That was one of the stupidest things I could suggest doing,” Rick said. That’s because the flames that crackled in three places suddenly exploded into one inferno and raced 300 feet past their home in about 10 seconds.


The flames burned a portion of their boat but spared the house.


“That was like staring into the eyes of hell, and that is the reason I’ll never do it again,” said Rick, 67.





#AppleFire off of off of Oak Glen Road and Apple Tree Lane, North of Cherry Valley in Riverside County is 1,900 acres. Evacuation Orders are in place. Unified Command: @CALFIRERRU, @SanBernardinoNF, @RSO and @ChpRiverside Apple pic.twitter.com/7wxLq9SJel
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) August 1, 2020









CAL FIRE/ Riverside County Fire Department is activly fighting the #AppleFire. Please use caution in the area as fire resources continue to work in the area. pic.twitter.com/ruK0Z2RJDJ
— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) August 1, 2020



Sheriff’s deputies shut down Oak Glen Road between Cherry Valley Boulevard and Wildwood Canyon Road, and shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, multiple streets came under mandatory evacuation orders, impacting an estimated 1,000 residents in 150 homes, officials said.


Evacuations were ordered for residents in the Banning Bench area and a road closure was in place along North Sunset Avenue at Wilson Street and North San Gorgonio Avenue at Summit Drive, according to the Banning Police Department.


Evacuation orders were extended at 11 p.m. to north of Cherry Valley Boulevard, between Beaumont and Highland Springs avenues, Cal Fire said.


At the request of the Fire Department, Southern California Edison turned off electricity along Oak Glen Road and on surrounding side streets to prevent additional fires from breaking out as burned power poles collapsed and dropped transmission lines.


The practice is known as a “public safety power shutoff.”


As the fires started about 5 p.m. on Friday, witnesses reportedly called 911 stating a man was seen walking along Apple Tree Lane, igniting three blazes. Arson investigators were dispatched to the area.


Herrera said he was unable to confirm that information Saturday. The investigation was ongoing, he said.


Firefighters from southern and central California fought the blaze.

Related Articles
 

Terrwyn

Veteran Member
I can see the smoke plume from my house. S. East of me as I look toward the mountains. Terrifying!
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
With interactive map....

General Information

CAL FIRE IncidentYes
Last Updated8/1/2020
Date Started7/31/2020
Location Informationoff of Oak Glen Road and Apple Tree Lane, North of Cherry Valley
CountiesRiverside
Acres Burned12,000
Percentage Contained0%
Current ConditionsAn interactive map, where you can search the status of your address can be found at here
Evacuation Warning
  • NEW EVACUATION WARNING issued for the area north of Morongo Rd, east of Millard Canyon Rd, and west of Whitewater Canyon Rd.

  • Potato Canyon area west, to Raymond Flat in the Oak Glen area.

EVACUATION ORDERS
  • NEW EVACUATION ORDERS issued north of Wilson St, east of Sunset Ave and west of Hathaway St.

  • South of the County Line, North of Dutton Street and East of Oak Glen Road.

  • North of Cherry Valley Blvd West of Highland Springs East of Beaumont Avenue

  • Potato Canyon Area West to Raywood Flat, in San Bernardino County

    Evacuation Center is at Beaumont High School - 39139 Cherry Valley Boulevard in Beaumont, CA

    Animal Evacuation Center also at Beaumont High School. Animal Control is on scene.
Administrative UnitUnified Command: CAL FIRE Riverside/ Riverside County, USFS - San Bernardino, and Yucaipa City Fire
Archive Year2020
StatusActive
FinalNo
Lat/Long[33.990352, -116.963678]

Contacts
Evacuation Center:

Beaumont High School - 39139 Cherry Valley Boulevard in Beaumont, CA
Agencies

CAL FIRE / Riverside County Fire





Apple
Cooperating Agencies

American Red Cross, Anaheim Fire Department, Animal Control, CAL FIRE/Riverside, CAL FIRE/San Bernardino, CAL FIRE/San Diego, California Highway Patrol (CHP), Cathedral City FD, City of Hemet FD, Morongo Fire Department, Murrieta Fire Protection District, Orange County Fire Authority, Palm Springs FD, Pechanga FD, Riverside County Fire Department, San Bernardino County Fire Department, USFS – San Bernardino, San Manuel FD, Soboba FD, Calimesa FD, Huntington Beach FD, Anaheim Fire and Re
 

Issy

Senior Member
Per phone call to my Mom's Alzheimer's home yesterday; they have 2 busses on site and enough people ready to evacuate the 81 residents at her Beaumont facility. Just praying it doesn't come to that. There are a lot of elder care homes in that area.

Issy
 

West

Senior nut
Let it all burn. Trees and brush grow old and get diseased and start dieing.

California's now mostly hands off approach of environmental management is so stupidly insane, that it now has to just burn. All of it.

Besides just like Paradise the forests lands under and mostly around the power lines is not being properly managed because of poor to no forests management and anti-logging and or no to vary little brush/thrash clean up.

The kangaroo rats need cover they say to feed the spotted owls. So they leave the thrash (aka kindling) on the ground. When in reality the rats, mice and alike love and do best in grassy areas that has no thrash, brush, etc.. clean forest floors.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Posted for fair use.....

California's Apple Fire destroys over 20,000 acres, 7,800 under evacuation orders
The fire has been burning since Friday afternoon.
By
Meredith Deliso
August 2, 2020, 1:27 PM
4 min read

Residents in Southern California evacuate as massive wildfire grows



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1:28
Residents in Southern California evacuate as massive wildfire grows
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The fire has so far burned down one home with at least 2,500 more still in danger.
The fire has so far burned down one home with at least 2,500 more still in danger.
Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate as a massive wildfire in Southern California continues to rage.
The blaze, dubbed the Apple Fire, had burned more than 20,000 acres in Riverside County as of Sunday morning local time, officials said, sending plumes of smoke into the air that are visible from much of the region.



David Mcnew/Getty Images

Flames and heavy smoke approach on a western front of the Apple Fire, Aug. 1, 2020,in Cherry Valley, California.
Flames and heavy smoke approach on a western front of the Apple Fire, Aug. 1, 2020,in Cherry Valley, California.
David Mcnew/Getty Images


David Mcnew/Getty Images

Flames creep through a forest understory at the Apple Fire as an excessive heat warning continues, Aug. 1, 2020, in Cherry Valley, California.
Flames creep through a forest understory at the Apple Fire as an excessive heat warning continues, Aug. 1, 2020, in Cherry Valley, California.
David Mcnew/Getty Images
More than 1,300 firefighters, along with several air tankers and helicopters, have been deployed to battle the uncontained blaze from the ground and air, the Riverside County Fire Department said. The northern and eastern edges of the fire are in steep, rugged hillsides not accessible to firefighting vehicles, officials said.
About 7,800 people in 2,586 homes in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties were under evacuation orders as of Saturday evening, authorities said.

At least one home and two outbuildings in Cherry Valley were destroyed by the Apple Fire, officials said. No injuries have been reported.


USFS

A map of the Apple Fire, released by the U.S. Forest Service Sunday morning.
A map of the Apple Fire, released by the U.S. Forest Service Sunday morning.
USFS
The wildfire has been burning since Friday afternoon. Fire officials reported at least two separate fires -- one about 3 acres, the second about 20 acres -- burning near each other shortly before 5 p.m. on Friday. Three hours later, the fire was 700 acres, officials said, prompting evacuation orders. By Saturday morning, the blaze had more than doubled in size, to 1,900 acres. More evacuation warnings and orders were issued throughout the day, with several remaining in place Sunday.

#applefire plume extending from fire pic.twitter.com/iZv5lBsInc
— Kimber (@duchess875) August 1, 2020

Fire activity is expected to remain high on Sunday, with hot, dry conditions in the area, according to the San Bernardino National Forest, which is in unified command with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, among other agencies. According to the National Weather Service, relative humidity is expected to fall near 10% Sunday afternoon as temperatures rise. Winds are also expected to increase out of the west, with gusts up to 25 mph. The temperature in the region was expected to reach the mid-90s Sunday, the National Weather Service said.
As of Friday, 38 large fires have burned more than 196,000 acres across the country so far this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
 
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