Apple Fire prompts evacuations near Cherry Valley, California

The fire has burned 20,516 acres in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties

August 2, 2020 | Updated at 11:21 a.m. PDT

map of the Apple Fire
3-D map of the Apple Fire, showing the perimeter at 8:30 p.m. PDT August 1, 2020. The north side of the fire could not be completely mapped at that time by the fixed wing aircraft due to the convection column over the fire.

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.

map Apple Fire 2:48 a.m. August 2, 2020
The red line was the perimeter of the Apple Fire mapped by a fixed wing aircraft at 8:30 p.m. PDT August 1, 2020. The red dots represent heat detected by a satellite at 2:48 a.m. PDT August 2, 2020. The north side of the fire could not be completely mapped by the fixed wing aircraft due to the convection column of smoke and heat over the fire.

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.

Apple Fire
Apple Fire, looking northeast from Elsinore Mountain at 1:26 a.m. August 2, 2020. Via @CAFireScanner.
Apple Fire August 1, 2020
Apple Fire August 1, 2020, from Noble Creek Park, Beaumont, CA. US Forest Service photo by Zach Behrens.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

8 thoughts on “Apple Fire prompts evacuations near Cherry Valley, California”

  1. This is the only website that has shown the Northeast progression, rather than just the edge where “structures are threatened.” Where it’s spreading within the wilderness area has a great deal of importance for those of us living on other edges of the wilderness.

  2. Thanks for recognizing that the only real information the public wants (evacuation orders and zones excluded) is a decent map of the fire. It boggles the mind the amount of effort the numerous public agencies expend putting out information that doesn’t tell anyone where the fire is!
    Good work!

    1. I agree, I’ve been looking for 2 hours to see how close it is to me and can’t find anything!!!!!!

    2. I completely agree, maps are vital, but are usually omitted or used confusingly, even by fire authorities. This article is excellent.


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