August 2, 2020 | Updated at 11:21 a.m. PDT
The Apple Fire north of Beaumont and Banning in southern California was very active Saturday afternoon and continued to spread well into the night. A fixed wing aircraft attempted to map the fire at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and was not able to completely gather intelligence on the north side due to a vigorous convection column of smoke and heat in that area. The crew on the aircraft was able to confirm that at least 15,000 acres had burned at that time. That was updated by the incident management team at about 10 a.m. PDT to 20,516 acres.
(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Apple Fire, including the most recent, click here.)
Several evacuation orders are in effect for the Apple Fire. Visit the Riverside County website to see a map of the evacuation areas or to determine if your address is affected.
The wind Saturday and Saturday night was consistent, blowing from the west at 11 to 14 mph and gusting to 18 mph. Combined with the steep south-facing slopes, the fire spread uphill north toward San Gorgonio Mountain and east parallel with Interstate 10 north of Banning.
The Apple Fire is well established east of the San Gorgonio River. Approximately 80 percent of the fire is in the San Bernardino National Forest and a portion of the southeast perimeter has spread into the Morongo Reservation. The remainder is on land protected by the state and the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino.
A Type 1 Incident Management Team has been ordered to assume command of the fire.
Current resources on the fire include 20 hand-crews, 6 helicopters, 178 fire engines, and 19 water tenders. A variable number of air tankers are available to the fire as well, depending on other wildfire activity. There are also a number of unfilled resource orders, and some are responding that are not yet on-scene.
The incident management team expects fire activity to remain high Sunday.
The weather forecast for the Cherry Valley area on Sunday is for 95 degrees, 10 to 15 percent relative humidity, and afternoon winds from the west at 4 to 7 mph gusting to 12 mph, with ridgetop speeds of 15 to 20 mph. Firefighters would not consider these conditions extreme, but they could indicate weather conducive to additional fire spread.