UPDATED: Smoke From The El Dorado Fire Visible In the High Desert; Fire Continues To Burn Into The SBC National Forest and Yucaipa Area

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By Don Fish Jr

Smoke from the El Dorado Fire darkened parts of Hesperia, Victorville, and the High Desert as the fire grew from 5 acres to over 800 acres in the matter of a few hours. At approximately 11:00 am, Saturday, September 5, 2020, Cal Fire reported a vegetation fire near the 37000 block of Oak Glen Rd in Yucaipa near the El Dorado Ranch Park. The First unit on the scene reported 5 acres with a rapid rate of spread. The fire appears to be burning to the northwest of the Apple Fire burn area. All Southern California Air Tankers have been assigned to the fire and additional ground resources have been ordered to help stop the spread of the fire. Evacuations warnings are now in effect for the residents west of E. Potato Canyon.

By 12:00 pm, with temperatures reaching 108 degrees, the fire had grown to 400 acres and was reported to be spotting ahead of itself and heading toward Yucaipa Ridge. Evacuations orders were issued for the Community of Oak Glen near Oak Glen Road through Wildwood Canyon Road. SoCal Air Operations requested 2 additional heletankers stating that the head of the fire is now 100 yards form structures (type unknown).

At approximately 1:00 pm, evacuation orders were expanded to include the communities of Oak Glen, Mountain Home Village, Forest Falls, and the eastern portion of Yucaipa.
At 2:00 pm Cal Fire reported the fire has grown to 800 acres with 0% containment. An additional evacuation order was issued for the Yucaipa Bench area. An evacuation center has been set up at the Yucaipa Community Center.

By 3:30 pm Cal Fire reported the fire to be at 1000 acres with 0% containment. 450 ground personnel, with multiple aircraft, are on scene. One building has been lost, and 40-50 foot flame heights have been reported.

UPDATES TO FOLLOW AS NEEDED

4:50 pm – Additional evacuations orders in effect for Yucaipa east of Jefferson Street from Oak Glen Rd to Yucaipa Ridge. The Yucaipa Equestrian Center is open as a staging site for large animals that have been evacuated.

9:40 pm – Cal Fire 9:00 pm update has the fire at 2159 acres and 5% contained.

****** CREEK FIRE: ****** Please send prayers to those in the Creek Fire near Yosemite. Started at 6:00 pm Friday and is currently at 36,000 acres (yes, 36,000) several people have been trapped near Beasore Meadows or Mammoth Pool Reservoir with no evacuation route and had to be evacuated via helicopter. Report from Fresno Fire PIO at 9:42 pm: “Currently 10 FFD units and one Clovis Engine are on scene at the airport, initial reports stated possibly 63 patients inbound, 20 potentially critical, Blackhawk helicopters are transporting 20 patients at a time to be transferred to EMS care and taken to local hospitals.” There are also reports of the town of Big Creek completely burned except for the store (I have not been able to officially confirm this, but have seen several independent reports of this.

****** Sunday, September 6, 2020 ******

9:00 am – 2727 acres burned with 5% containment. Air attacks have resumed. SBNF reported 300 foot flames lengths occurring early in the morning.

10:00 am – Evacuation issued for Forest Falls, Forest Home Oak Glen, and Mountain Village, evacuations expanded to east of Bryant St & north of Carter St in Yucaipa. Evacuations Warnings for Yucaipa Bench, Potato Canyon area

11:00 am – SR 38 remains closed. Use 18 and 330 as alternate routes per Caltrans District 8

12:00 pm – 3010 acres at 5% containment. 600 firefighters. From a photo Journalist on covering the fire: Division Z for the El Dorado Fire, “the fire is above the Oak Glen community and expected to burn into the Apple fire burn scar possibly later today which is a good thing because it will run out of fuel and slow this part of the fire significantly.”

5:00 pm – 3010 acres at 5% contained. Redlands Daily Facts is reporting that authorities say the cause of the fire was “human caused” and is under investigation. Evacuations expanded in Yucaipa to east of Bryant Road, north of Yucaipa Road.

7:30 pm – 7050 acres at 5% contained. No new evacuation orders.

****** Monday, September 7, 2020 ******

The cause of the El Dorado Fire was due to a pyrotechnic gender-reveal device. Cal Fire released this statement last night: CAL FIRE Law Enforcement has determined the El Dorado Fire, burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County, was caused by a smoke generating pyrotechnic device, used during a gender reveal party. The fire began at 10:23 am on September 5, 2020, in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. The fire spread from the park to the north on to Yucaipa Ridge that separates Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls from the City of Yucaipa.

11:30 am – 8,600 acres at 7% containment. Evacuations Orders: Areas east of Bryant from Carter South to Yucaipa Blvd, then east on Yucaipa Blvd at Bryant intersection to Freemont Street, then South to Grande View Drive, then along Ave E southeast to the intersection of Mesa Grande, east to Wildwood Canyon Rd to include all portions of Hidden Meadows, and east to Edgar Canyon Road. The southern portion of the Cherry Valley Community from Nancy Lane east to Beaumont Ave, including portions of Riverside County down to Orchard St. Oak Glen (partial, see road closures), Mountain Home Village, Forest Falls and North Bench Yucaipa (north of Carter St to Highway 38 and both sides of Bryant St east & west). Evacuation Warnings: Evacuation warning in place for Beaumont Ave east to Hillside Place in the Highland Springs area to the Apple Fire burn perimeter to the north and Cherry Valley Blvd to the south.

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