Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, September 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 57° Clear
News >  Nation/World

Thousands remain evacuated from Southern California wildfire

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 3, 2020

Associated Press

BANNING, Calif. — Evacuation orders remained in place early Monday for thousands of people after a wildfire in mountains east of Los Angeles exploded in size and forced crews to battle flames in triple-digit heat.

The Apple Fire in Riverside County consumed more than 31 square miles of dry brush and timber, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

As of Monday morning, it was 5% contained. The cause was under investigation.

Officials allowed flames to run up the side of Mount San Gorgonio, an 11,000-foot peak, because it wasn’t safe to let crews work in such steep, rugged terrain, said Lisa Cox, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service.

“We don’t want to put firefighters in a dangerous situation,” Cox told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. “It’s burning in a straight line up a mountain.”

The blaze began as two adjacent fires reported Friday evening in Cherry Valley, an unincorporated area near the city of Beaumont about 85 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

Flames leapt along brushy ridge tops and came close to homes while firefighters attacked it from the ground and air.

One home and two outbuildings were destroyed, Cal Fire said. No injuries were reported.

Evacuation orders and advisories were issued for about 8,000 people in mountain, canyon and foothill neighborhoods. Campgrounds and hiking trails were closed in the San Gorgonio Wilderness area of the San Bernardino National Forest.

A huge smoke plume was visible for miles around and contributed to poor air quality.

The mercury hit 109 degrees Sunday in nearby Palm Springs. The National Weather Service said “dangerously hot conditions” were expected to continue because of high pressure over much of Southern California.

To the north, the Pond Fire in San Luis Obispo County was 10% contained Sunday after burning more than 2 square miles of brush east of Santa Margarita. The blaze destroyed two structures but officials said it was unclear whether they were homes.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.



6 easy ways to create the ballpark experience at home

Group of male friends watching a baseball and celebrating a home run from their favorite team (Antonio_diaz Antonio_diaz / Thinkstock)
Sponsored

As much as pretty much all of us secretly want to be superfans, it’s pretty hard to make it to every home game.