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Los Rios Rancho apple farm in Oak Glen partially reopens after fire

Many activities are continuing at the Los Rios Rancho apple farm in Oak Glen, even after a fire early Friday laid waste to much of the property.

The bakery, ranch store, packing house and Oak Glen Preserve’s ranger shop were destroyed, breaking the hearts of the latest generation of visitors who head uphill to pick apples, buy cider and pies and participate in family activities.

Los Rios Rancho said in a Facebook post on Saturday, Oct. 3, that it has opened its orchards on the north side of the property across from the main parking lot for apple picking, horse-drawn wagon rides, a petting zoo and a satellite kitchen that is serving tri-tip sandwiches.



The farm, near Yucaipa below the San Bernardino Mountains, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

“We’re making the most of an ugly circumstance and would love to still be a part of your fall tradition. Please continue to pray for our family and crew as the reality of such a loss sinks in,” the post said.

Tina Skousen, a relative of Los Rios Rancho proprietors Devon and Shelly Riley, established a GoFundMe page on their behalf. Skousen noted that the packing house had been operating since 1906.

The cause of the fire had not been announced as of Saturday.

Cal Fire San Bernardino Unit Capt. Bennet Milloy, the lead investigator on the fire, said Saturday that investigators believe that the fire started behind the kitchen area. Investigators are no longer at the farm examining the ruins, he said.

Firefighters had to extinguish the flames by shuttling water to the site with fire engines as the nearest hydrant is a couple of miles away, Milloy said.

“The water supply issue was a major contributing factor to the spread of the fire,” Milloy said.

He added that none of the apple farms in the area have hydrants nearby.

Milloy said he is among those who have for years trekked to Los Rios Rancho, which he described as iconic. The fire, he said, was a tragedy.

Source: Orange County Register

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