Story Summary

Mountain Fire Burns Near Idyllwild

mountain-fire-pic

The Mountain Fire broke out on the afternoon of Monday, July 15, near the junction of Highway 243 and Highway 74.

It forced the evacuation of thousands of people as it spread through steep, rugged terrain in the San Jacinto Wilderness.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 8 updates

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (KTLA) — The wet weather and cooler temperatures were helping firefighters get the upper hand on the Mountain Fire burning near Idyllwild.

The fire has burned just over 27,279 acres and was 68 percent contained as of Sunday night, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

mountain-fire-truck

Damage from the Mountain Fire

It has destroyed 23 structures, including seven residences during the first day of the fire, officials said.

More than 1,800 firefighters were assigned to the blaze on Sunday, aided by 13 helicopters and seven fixed-wing aircraft.

Evacuation orders were lifted on Sunday for the communities of Idyllwild, Fern Valley and Pine Cove, which had been threatened by advancing flames.

“Significant” rainfall occurred over the fire area, according to an update Sunday night from the Forest Service.

Thunderstorms developed over parts of the fire, causing erratic winds and strong downdrafts, Forest Service officials said.

Hazards remained in burned areas due to flash flooding and mudslides, officials said.

The threat of thunderstorms and flash flooding was expected to continue on Sunday night and Monday.

Due to the severe weather conditions, firefighters were patrolling for hotspots and flare-ups.

Highway 243 was reopened to the general public as of 11 p.m. Sunday, and Highway 74 remained open.

San Bernardino National Forest closure orders remained in effect north of Highway 74 and east of Highway 243. Humber Park was also still closed.

Camp Ronald McDonald was voluntarily evacuated due to health concerns related to air quality.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Mount San Jacinto State Park were also closed because of unhealthy air quality.

The cost to date of fighting the fire, which broke out last Monday, July 15, was at $20.1 million, officials said.

Full containment was expected by Friday. The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Evacuation centers closed on Sunday at 8 p.m. The San Jacinto Animal Shelter was expected to return to normal business hours beginning on Monday.

Any residents in need of additional assistance were asked to contact the American Red Cross National Dispatch at 855-891-7325.

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (KTLA) — Evacuation orders were lifted for residents for Idyllwild and the surrounding communities of Fern Valley and Pine Cove Sunday, after firefighters made significant progress in their battle against the Mountain Fire, authorities said.

Mother nature brought cooler temperatures, increased humidity and about 1.5 inches of rain to the area overnight, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

More rain was forecast for Sunday evening, prompting officials to issue a  flash flood watch.

After burning more than 27,000 acres in the San Jacinto Mountains, the Mountain Fire was 49 percent contained, authorities said.

The fire has burned 27,245 acres, according to the Forest Service. It was expected to be fully contained by July 26.

Fire officials said 23 structures had been destroyed by the flames, including seven homes.

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (KTLA) — After burning more than 27,000 acres in the San Jacinto Mountains, the Mountain Fire was 49 percent contained Saturday, authorities said.

Among the resources involved in the firefight were 3,347 fire personnel, 260 engines and 20 helicopters, the U.S. Forest Service said.

The fire has burned 27,245 acres, according to the Forest Service. It was expected to be fully contained by July 26.

The community of Pine Cove was under an evacuation warning Saturday evening, while mandatory evacuations remained in place for neighboring Idyllwild.

Evacuation centers were set up by the Red Cross at Hemet High School, Hamilton High School and Beaumont High School. For more information on those centers, call (888) 831-0031.

Camp Ronald McDonald and Camp Joe Sherman were voluntarily evacuated due to health concerns related to air quality.

Fire officials said 23 structures had been destroyed by the flames, including seven homes, and some 5,600 structures were threatened.

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (KTLA) — Firefighters were working around the clock on Friday to contain the massive Mountain Fire burning in the San Jacinto Mountains.

The fire has burned 27,179 acres and was still just 15 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

New evacuations were recommended late Friday morning for Pine Cove. Residents were told to prepare for an evacuation order.

mountainfire-pic

Firefighters were battling the Mountain fire from the ground and the air.

Mandatory evacuations remained in place for Idyllwild, Fern Valley and Trails End at the north end of Morris Ranch Road, Forest Service officials said.

The evacuation notice also included the San Jacinto State Park Wilderness, Forest Service Wilderness and Forest Service Campgrounds.

Camp Ronald McDonald and Camp Joe Sherman were voluntarily evacuated due to health concerns related to air quality.

Some evacuations were lifted on Thursday for lifted for two areas no longer threatened by flames.

Residents in the Apple Canyon and Bonita Vista areas were allowed to return to their homes, and Highway 74 was open to traffic.

Highway 243 remained under a hard closure south of Pine Cove at the Nature Center to the junction of Highway 74.

The blaze broke out at 1:43 p.m. on Monday near the junction of Highway 243 and Highway 74.

It was burning east of Mountain Center and Apple Canyon, in steep, rugged terrain in the southern portion of the San Jacinto Wilderness along the Desert Divide.

The blaze has destroyed 23 structures, including seven residences during the first day of the fire, officials said.

Three firefighters were treated for minor injuries. No injuries to civilians were reported.

More than 3,300 personnel were assigned to the fire on Friday, aided by 19 helicopters and 10 fixed-wing aircraft, including one DC-10.

Aerial attacks using water and fire retardant were expected to continue to keep the fire from expanding toward communities, according to an update from the Forest Service.

Fire crews were working to build containment lines and provide structure protection to residences impacted by the fire.

Steep terrain continued to be a challenge for firefighters, officials said. Thunderstorms were also possible on Friday afternoon, which could cause erratic winds.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation. Authorities on Friday pulled back on earlier reports that the blaze was man-made.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Mount San Jacinto State Park were closed because of unhealthy air quality.

Additionally, the South Coast Air Quality Management District issue a smoke advisory Thursday for areas including Hemet, Anza and parts of the Coachella Valley.

A Red Cross evacuation center was set up at Beaumont High School, located at 39139 Cherry Valley Blvd.

Another Red Cross shelter was open at Hemet High School, located at 41701 E. Stetson Ave. in Hemet.

A third shelter was set up at Hamilton High School, at 57430 Mitchell Road in Anza. It can also accept small animals.

Large and small animals can also be brought to the San Jacinto Animal Shelter, located at 581 S. Grand Ave. in San Jacinto.

Expanded evacuation orders remained in place on Thursday, as firefighters continued to battle the raging Mountain fire in Riverside County.

The blaze had burned 22,800 acres and was 15 percent contained as of Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The most active parts of the fire were near Red Tahquitz Peak above the community of Idyllwild and near the community of Trails End to the south.

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (KTLA) Expanded evacuation orders remained in place on Thursday, as firefighters continued to battle the raging Mountain fire in Riverside County.
Read more: http://ktla.com/2013/07/18/wildfire-forces-evacuations-near-idyllwild/#ixzz2ZQvt4rbf

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (KTLA) — Expanded evacuation orders remained in place on Thursday, as firefighters continued to battle the raging Mountain fire in Riverside County.

The blaze had burned 22,800 acres and was 15 percent contained as of Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The most active parts of the fire were near Red Tahquitz Peak above the community of Idyllwild and near the community of Trails End to the south.

About 6,000 people were under evacuation orders, including new evacuations issued Wednesday night after a shift in the winds pushed the fire toward Idyllwild.

idyllwild-damage

The Mountain fire has destroyed several residences.

Mandatory evacuations were in effect for Idyllwild, Fern Valley and adjacent communities.

U.S. Forest Service Campgrounds, the U.S. Forest Service Wilderness and the Mt. San Jacinto State Park were also included in the evacuation orders.

The evacuations did not include the areas of Pine Cove, Mountain Center, Idyllwild West and Poppet Flat, officials said.

The blaze was initially reported on Monday afternoon near the junction of Highway 243 and Highway 74.

It was burning in rugged terrain east of the Mountain Center and Apple Canyon areas, in the southern portion of the San Jacinto Wilderness.

Nearly 3,000 firefighters were assigned to the blaze, aided by 17 helicopters and 10 fixed-wing aircraft, including a DC-10.

They were dealing with near-triple-digit temperatures and humidity as low as 5 percent.

The fire has destroyed at least a half dozen homes.

Three mobile homes and three residences were destroyed in Bonita Vista, and one additional residence was damaged, officials said.

In Pine Springs, one commercial building, a workshop, a garage and a cabin were destroyed, Forest Service officials said.

There were no damages reported in the Zen Mountain Center area.

In addition to the structures, there were a total of 11 outbuildings and four to six vehicles destroyed, officials said.

Mandatory evacuations were still in effect for the Andreas Canyon Club south of Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, Bonita Vista, Pine Springs and the Zen Mountain Center.

Trails End was also evacuated at the north end of Morris Ranch Road.

Camp Ronald McDonald and Camp Joe Sherman were voluntarily evacuated to to air quality concerns.

Highway 243 was under a soft closure from Banning South to Mountain Center.

Highway 74 was also under a soft closure from the Cranston Fire Station near Valle Vista east to the junction with Highway 371.

The soft closures were in place to allow residents access to gather items from their homes or properties.

Additionally, the Pacific Crest Trail was closed from State Highway 74 to Saddle Junction.

All connector trails to the PCT were also closed, including South Ridge Trail, Carumba Trail, Spitler Peak Trail, Fobes Trail and Cedar Springs.

All Forest Service Campgrounds located along Highway 243 were closed, along with San Jacinto State Park and the San Jacinto Wilderness.

Hurkey Creek County Campground and all of the hiking and mountain biking trails out of Hurkey creek and May Valley were closed.

A new Red Cross evacuation center was set up Wednesday at Beaumont High School, at 39139 Cherry Valley Blvd.

Another Red Cross shelter was set up at Hemet High School, located at 41701 E. Stetson Ave. in Hemet.

Another shelter was also set up at Hamilton High School, at 57430 Mitchell Road in Anza. It can also accept small animals.

A large and small animal shelter has been opened at Lake Hemet campground in Garner Valley.

Small animals can also be brought to the San Jacinto Animal Shelter, located at 581 S. Grand Ave. in San Jacinto.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation. The cost to date of fighting the fire was estimated at $5.5 million.

Mandatory evacuations were expanded Wednesday to include the community of Idyllwild after the out-of-control Mountain fire changed direction.

Advertisement