Wet, Cooler Weather Helps Crews Against Mountain Fire

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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.


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.

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