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Apple fire 30% contained; firefighters working to protect Oak Glen, Forest Falls

The Apple fire burning in the San Bernardino National Forest was 30% contained Wednesday morning, with the blaze’s main thrust heading northeast into the San Gorgonio Wilderness.

Firefighters worked to build lines to protect the towns of Oak Glen and Forest Falls on the west side, with the fire so far having scorched 27,319 acres.

Slightly cooler temperatures and a small increase in humidity were expected on Wednesday, Aug. 5, along with southwest winds that could gust up to 30 mph in the afternoon.

In the wilderness, the fire is burning aged chaparral and dead timber from beetle infestations, authorities said.

The line that firefighters were working on to limit the fire’s westward spread was in the area of Pine Bench. Hand crews and bulldozers were working above them across Yucaipa Ridge to build a fire break.

The work was considered a critical component to protect Oak Glen and Forest Falls.

Riverside County has ended mandatory evacuations east of Oak Glen Road, west of Potrero Road and north of Wilson Street.

Evacuation warnings remain in effect east of Potrero Road, north of Morongo Road, and west of Whitewater Canyon.

The American Red Cross closed the Beaumont High School evacuation center Tuesday night. San Bernardino County residents still under evacuation orders can contact the Red Cross at 571-595-7774 for help.

San Bernardino County continued its Oak Glen evacuation order east of Oak Glen Road, including Potato Canyon and Pine Bench north of the Riverside-San Bernardino County line.

Fire evacuations warnings, when officials tell locals they may be asked to leave, remained in effect for Forest Falls, Pioneertown and Rimrock.

<aside class=”related right”><h2 class=”widget-title”>Related links</h2><ul><li><a href=””>This map shows the location, evacuations for the Apple Fire in Cherry Valley</a></li><li><a href=””>Apple fire in Riverside, San Bernardino counties at more than 20,000 acres, 5% containment</a></li><li><a href=””>Apple fire grows to 12,000 acres, prompts more evacuations in Cherry Valley</a></li><li><a href=””>Wildfire in Cherry Valley burns at least 900 acres, evacuations ordered</a></li></ul></aside>

Investigators say the fire started just before 5 p.m. Friday in Riverside County’s Cherry Valley along Oak Glen Road by hot debris spewed into brush from a vehicle’s faulty exhaust system.

Four homes and eight other structures have burned, one firefighter has been injured, and Cal Fire estimated 2,586 homes in several communities had been forced to evacuate, affecting 7,800 people.

More than 2,500 firefighting personnel were at the scene.

Source: Orange County Register

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