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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: Apple, Riverside County
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: RRU
  • Size (acres): 33,234
  • Percent Contained: 95%
  • Estimate of Containment: August 21, 2020
  • Personnel: 114
  • Structures Destroyed: 13

Apple, Riverside Unit, Cal Fire. Transfer of command from IMT 1 (CA Team 2) to the local unit occurred yesterday. One mile northeast of Cherry Valley, CA. Timber, chaparral and tall grass. Minimal fire behavior with smoldering. Area, road and trail closures in effect.

August 20, 2020 at 7:45 PM

The Apple Fire is calm and 95% contained 21 days after it was sparked. Working in extreme heat and steep terrain, firefighters are focused on monitoring, patrolling and suppression repair. Thunderstorms may rumble again today and crews are monitoring for possible heavy rain and mudflows. Within the Apple Fire’s perimeter, pockets of burning vegetation may generate occasional light smoke. Many firefighters, equipment and aircraft have been assigned to other wildfires in California and the west.

An Excessive Heat Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service, effective until 10 pm Thursday, August 20. Dangerously hot conditions continue throughout the region. Firefighters continue to follow COVID-19 precautions, including wearing masks, practicing social distancing, using hand sanitizers, meeting outside, washing hands, and sanitizing workspaces.

Recently burned areas are at a greater risk of mudflows and flash floods. Fires eliminate vegetation that can hold soil in place and charred ground may be unable to absorb water. Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) efforts are focused on the protection of human life, safety, and property. Rapid burn assessments identify areas that have increased potential for floods and mudflows. For more information, please visit the Apple Post-Fire BAER InciWeb page.

August 15, 2020 at 10:57 AM

Containment of the Apple Fire is now at 90%. Yesterday, the California Incident Management Team 2 transferred command of the Apple Fire to a local Type 3 team led by Incident Commander Matt Ahearn of the San Bernardino National Forest, while still in unified command with CAL FIRE. On behalf of the team, Incident Commander Mike Minton would like to thank the surrounding communities for their support. This successful effort was built upon local, state, and federal agencies working closely together.

The work is not over—suppression repair efforts will continue over the coming weeks. Crews will remain to mop up along the fireline and repair impacts on the landscape. Expect heavy equipment in areas that are being rehabilitated. Crews return today from the spike camps in the San Gorgonio Wilderness, where they worked on containment lines. Far within the fire’s edge, pockets of burning vegetation may occasionally generate small isolated smoke columns.

An Excessive Heat Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service, effective at noon today until Monday. Dangerously hot conditions are expected for the Inland Empire. More information about this warning can be found at the National Weather Service website.

It is still early in the Southern California fire season. Now is the time to prepare defensible space around your home. Defensible space is needed to slow the spread of wildfire and protect the firefighters defending homes in your neighborhood. You can learn more about defensible space at the CAL FIRE website Ready for Wildfire.

Since fires eliminate vegetation that can hold soil in place, recently burned areas are at an even greater risk of mudflows and flash floods. Wildfires leave the ground charred and unable to absorb water. BAER emergency response efforts are focused on the protection of human life, safety, and property. Rapid assessments evaluate the burned area to identify areas that have increased potential for floods and mudflows. For more information, please visit the Apple Post-Fire BAER InciWeb page or call the BAER information line at 707-853-4243 (8 am – 8 pm).

This is the last update that Incident Management Team 2 will release. The San Bernardino National Forest and CAL FIRE Type 3 Team will continue to update the public on the fire and post-fire response efforts.

August 13, 2020 at 7:36 AM

Incident demobilization will continue. Suppression repair is ongoing. Fire is holding at the ridgetop in Branch III. Division R and T are showing little movement towards Hell for Sure Canyon. Southeast flank of the fire, in Division X/Y, the fire progression is holding within the containment lines. Branch VII containment lines are all holding.

Thursday and Friday morning, some high-level moisture from Hurricane Elida will move into the area. Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy with the possibility of some sprinkles at the higher elevations. Relative humidity will be slightly higher, especially at higher elevations, due to this moisture influx. Typical diurnal winds are expected once again.

August 12, 2020 at 9:45 AM

Containment of the Apple Fire remains at 60%, with much progress made on northern control lines. Last night, crews monitored for any hotspots along the fire’s edge. This was the last night shift and today, crews will transition from 24-hour shifts to day shifts. Since personnel and equipment needs are scaling down, the two fire camps will be consolidated today into one location in Beaumont.

Windy conditions are making pockets of heat more visible. However, the fireline continues to hold against the wind, with most hotspots around stump holes and logs well within the fire’s edge. Firefighters at spike camps in remote areas to the north are monitoring and mopping up hotspots. Extensive suppression repair and backhaul work continues, as crews rehabilitate disturbed areas and pull equipment from the fireline.

Hot, dry, and windy conditions will stay in the area. This elevated fire weather will continue as a high-pressure system moves towards the area this weekend.

A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team will mobilize soon. This team of highly skilled resource specialists address post-fire stabilization issues, such as loss of vegetation, soil erosion, flooding, habitat disturbance, and cultural resource management. In the days and months post-fire, the team will implement these recovery strategies on federal land. BAER assessment plans are a cooperative effort between federal, state, tribal, and local agencies. You can learn more about these efforts at the Apple Post-Fire BAER page on InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6939/

Last night, the final evening update was released. Morning updates will continue.

Evacuations / Closures:

There are no remaining Evacuation Warnings in effect.

One easy and potentially life-saving task that all residents can do right now is to sign up for the emergency alerts system in their county. These systems help public safety officials to provide critical updates, such as evacuation notifications, as quickly as possible.

August 11, 2020 at 8:43 AM

Planned Actions
Perimeter control, construct direct and indirect control lines, structure defense, and scout out contingency lines.

Projected Incident Activity
Fire is holding at the ridgetop in Branch III. Division R and T are showing little movement towards Hell for Sure Canyon. Southeast flank of the fire, in Division X/Y, the fire progression is holding within the containment lines. Branch VII containment lines are all holding.

Remarks
Incident demobilization will continue.

Late yesterday afternoon, Evacuation Warnings were lifted for Morongo Valley. Under unified command, agencies collaborate and share information regarding potential fire risk. As fire containment increased and potential threat to communities decreased, the recommendation was made to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department to lift the Evacuation Warning for the Morongo Valley.

August 7, 2020 at 11:28 AM

Progress on containing the Apple Fire continues. Containment line in the Oak Glen area will be complete today. The fire continues to back down slopes in that area to create the containment line. Good progress has been made on Yucaipa Ridge as well reducing the threat to Forest Falls. As threats are reduced and containment line has been completed, firefighting resources will shift to areas of greater threat as needed.

Firefighters are completing fire operations in Millard Canyon this morning from the San Gorgonio Wilderness boundary to Corral Rd. They are finishing work the night shift crews began last night. Winds have been favorable and the operation has been successful.

Crews will be transported to the north edge of the fire in the San Gorgonio Wilderness today to assess and determine what needs to be done to secure the northern perimeter. The fire is remaining in place in this area.

The fire origin area on the southwestern perimeter near Cherry Valley and Banning will go into patrol status today. The containment line is completed in this portion of the fire perimeter.

Community Meetings: A community meeting is planned for the Morongo Valley and Yucca Valley communities tomorrow evening; details will be sent out via a press release, Inciweb and San Bernardino National Forest Facebook and Twitter as soon as they are available.

Evacuations / Closures: An Evacuation Warning is in effect for the area east of Potrero Road, west to Highway 62 and north of Interstate 10.

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 this evacuation warning area.

For San Bernardino County Residents:

NEW The Evacuation Order has been lifted for all areas east of Oak Glen Road, including Potato Canyon and Pine Bench north of the Riverside/San Bernardino county line. An Evacuation Warning remains in place for Forest Falls, Morongo Valley, Pioneertown, and Rimrock.

The San Gorgonio Wilderness has been 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.

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 will travel towards Morongo Valley and remain in the area until late evening. People with health conditions sensitive to smoke should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exercise in this area today.

Evacuation Center: San Bernardino County residents under the Oak Glen Evacuation Order may contact The American Red Cross at (571) 595-7774.

Weather: Conditions will be similar to yesterday. Relative humidities will decrease to 10-20% and temperatures are expected in the mid 70’s on the ridges and upper slopes in the fire area.re shifting with winds increasing over the fire area. Windy conditions continue to be of concern for this fire.

Donations: Area residents who wish to make food donations are encouraged to contribute to local food pantries as firefighters are provided with everything they need at the fire camps.

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”.

August 5, 2020 at 8:29 AM

The Apple Fire is continuing to spread to the north across the head of the Mill Creek Canyon, and east into the San Gorgonio Wilderness. As the fire burns into the wilderness the vegetation is becoming sparse limiting fire intensity. The fire remained active Monday night into Tuesday morning. Overnight, firefighters were able to complete construction of fireline on the southwest corner of the perimeter. This and other work along the southern and southeastern perimeters increased the percentage of fire containment. Infrared surveys are indicating that there are several pockets of heat in the area of Pine Bench (west side), Banning Canyon (south side) and Millard Canyon (east side). Hand crews were able to work the areas of Pine Bench and Millard Canyon but due to the danger of falling trees they did not engage in the Banning Pass. Structure protection groups have been established in the areas of Oak Glen and Forest Falls. Today, in addition to continuing structure protection and perimeter control, firefighters will be scouting the San Gorgonio wilderness to develop a control plan to address the spread of the fire to the northeast. Damage assessment teams are deployed and will be surveying the fire area for damage to structures and infrastructure.

August 3, 2020 at 8:38 PM

Cal Fire Peace officers have determined that the cause of the Apple Fire was the result of a vehicle malfunction; specifically a diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system. Officers are seeing information from anyone who may have seen a vehicle which appeared to have mechanical problems, or unusual smoke emitting from it. View the Press Release from Riverside County Fire Department for more details.

The Apple Fire has burned over 26,450 acres and there is currently 5% containment.

The Apple Fire is spreading primarily to the north and east into the San Gorgonio Wilderness. The fire is burning in an area with no recent fire history. It is expected to burn into less dense fuels as it progresses. Fire activity is being driven primarily by record low moisture content of the vegetation combined with high temperatures and low relative humidity. These conditions are contributing to active fire behavior both day and night.

Sunday night and early Monday morning the fire was very active. Multiple spot fires erupted on the north side of the perimeter. The spot fires were engaged by a night vision equipped helicopter. Two of the spot fires were caught but one grew significantly and will be assessed today.

Firefighters are building fireline directly on the fire’s edge where possible. In areas where terrain is too steep to access firefighters are assessing other options for control line. Structure protection is in place in threatened communities. Good progress has been made on the southern and southeastern perimeter. Moving ahead, strategy will include slowing spread to the north and in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. Additional firefighters are arriving on scene to assist with the effort to contain the fire. The assignment of the new resources will give firefighters who have been on the line over the last two days some much needed rest. Current resources on the fire include 32 hand-crews, 9 Helicopters, 275 Engines, 24 Dozers and 48 Water Tenders.

Damage assessment teams are deployed and will be surveying the fire area for damage to structures and infrastructure.

Hot and dry again on Monday with somewhat improved humidity recovery Monday night. Westerly winds will gust 20 to 30 mph Monday afternoon and evening between 1200 PDT and 2000 PDT, weakening after 2000 PDT but remaining gusty.

August 3, 2020 at 7:05 AM

The Apple Fire has burned over 26,450 acres and there is currently 5% containment. Much of the northern and eastern edge of the fire is in very steep, rugged hillsides which is not accessible to firefighting vehicles. Firefighters continue to work to slow the spread of the fire using all resources available including helicopters, fixed wing air tankers, ground equipment and hand-crews.

The Apple fire burned actively overnight, primarily to the north and east. Much of the fire activity is being driven by the record low moisture content of the vegetation in the area combined with high temperatures and low relative humidity. These conditions are contributing to active fire behavior both day and night. A mapping flight scheduled overnight provide data regarding accurate acreage.

The fire is burning in an area with no recent fire history. It is expected to burn into less dense fuels as it progresses. Firefighters on the ground and in the air have been engaged and are building fireline directly on the fire’s edge where possible. Others protecting structures in local communities. Additional firefighters are arriving on scene to assist with the effort to contain the fire. The assignment of the new resources will give firefighters who have been on the line over the last two days some much needed rest. Current resources on the fire include 32 hand-crews, 9 Helicopters, 275 Engines, 24 Dozers and 48 Water Tenders.

Weather will remain similar to the past few days, with a high pressure ridge creating hot, dry conditions. Temps should be a couple degrees cooler than yesterday, with low humidity.

August 2, 2020 at 7:53 PM

The Apple Fire has burned over 20,516 acres and there is currently 5% containment. Much of the northern and eastern edge of the fire is in very steep, rugged hillsides which is not accessible to firefighting vehicles. Firefighters continue to work to slow the spread of the fire using all resources available including helicopters, fixed wing air tankers, ground equipment and hand-crews. Many resource orders remain unfilled or are not on scene yet.

August 2, 2020 at 2:59 PM

Still 20,516 acres, 0% containment with 1,200 personnel on the fire.

Closures:

  • San Gorgonio Wilderness, Forest Falls rec area, – PCT b/w the Forest Boundary + 1N01.
  • Temporary Flight Restriction in place: NO DRONES. If you fly, we can’t!

August 2, 2020 at 11:12 AM

he Apple Fire has burned over 20,516 acres and has no containment. Much of the northern and eastern edge of the fire is in very steep, rugged hillsides which is not accessible to firefighting vehicles. Firefighters will continue to work to slow the spread of the fire using all resources available including helicopters, fixed wing air tankers, ground equipment and hand-crews. A Type 1 Incident Management Team has been ordered to assume command of the fire.

Current resources on the fire include 20 hand-crews, 6 Helicopters, 178 Engines, and 19 Water Tenders. A number of air tankers are available to the fire as well. There are also a number of unfilled resource orders, and a number of resources responding which are not yet on-scene.

Fire activity is expected to remain high today, with active fire in most areas of the fire. Weather will remain similar to the past few days, with a high pressure ridge creating hot, dry conditions. Temps should be a couple degrees cooler than yesterday, with low humidity.

EVACUATIONS & CLOSURES
Several evacuation orders have been ordered.

For Riverside County Residents, please visit https://www.rivcoready.org/ActiveEvents for an interactive map that will allow you to enter your address to see if you are in an evacuation area. You can also follow https://twitter.com/RivCoReady to receive updated information as evacuations change.

For San Bernardino County Residents, please follow https://twitter.com/sbcountysheriff The community of Oak Glen is under an Evacuation Order. The orders for Forest Falls have been downgraded to an evacuation warning only.

The San Gorgonio Wilderness has been Closed to All Use. Effective August 2, 2020 an Emergency Forest Closure Order is in effect which prohibits all entry into the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. This order also includes the Pacific Crest Hiking Trail between the Forest Boundary and Forest Road 1N01.

All Forest Service recreation areas in the Forest Fall area are closed due to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department’s Voluntary Evacuation Order.

August 1, 2020 at 8:24 PM

  • Long range spotting
  • Continued threat to structures
  • Continued structure defense at Oak Glen Camp
  • Mandatory evacuation orders remain in place for Oak Glen, Banning Bench, and the northern parts of Cherry Valley, Beaumont, and Banning
  • Evacuation warning for Morongo Indian Reservation
  • Road closures in the area
  • Weather and terrain hindering suppression efforts
  • Threat to 115 kV power lines
  • CA IMT 1 Team 2 (Minton) assigned, will transition command in the morning
  • Unified Command CAL Fire, USFS, and Yucaipa City Fire Department
  • Federal air and ground resources assigned

August 1, 2020 at 5:02 PM

OAKGLEN AREA: You are now subject to a voluntary evacuation order. Use Oak Glen Rd or Potato Canyon to evacuate the area.
FOREST FALLS AREA: You are now subject to a voluntary evacuation order. Use hwy 38 to evacuate the area.

August 1, 2020 at 3:40 PM

CAIMT 2 (Minton) Type 1 Team assigned to RRU/BDF Apple Fire, in-brief will be @ San Bernardino National Forest Headquarters @ 1900. Transfer of command TBD.

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

Update 7:40 a.m. – One single family dwelling and two outbuildings were destroyed near Avenida MiravillaMorning

Update 08/01/2020 6:30 a.m. – The fire is 1900 acres and 0% contained. All Evacuation Orders remain in place. CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire is in Unified Command with the USFS, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol.The next update will be after 7 a.m. on Saturday, August 1st, unless significant fire activity occurs. 

Update 11:25 P.M. The fire is now 1720 acres and 0% contained. 

Update 10:05 P.M. – The fire is 900 acres and 0% contained. CAL FIRE/Riverside County is the official source of information for this fire. 

Update 8:15 P.M. The fire is now approximately 700 acres and 0% contained. All Evacuation ORDERS remain in place. 

Update 7:30 P.M. – Both fires are approximately 350 acres total and 0% contained. Evacuation Orders are in place for residents South of the County Line, North of Dutton Street and East of Oak Glen Road. Evacuation Center is at Beaumont High School – 39139 Cherry Valley Boulevard in Beaumont, CA 

Update 5:55 P.M. – At least two separate fires near each other are burning (one at approximately three acres and one at approximately 15-20 acres). Additional updates will be posted as information becomes available. CAL FIRE/Riverside County Firefighters are on scene of a wildland fire in Cherry Valley. The fire has multiple spots burning along Oak Glen Road. Significant augmentation of air and ground resources. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.