El Dorado Fire approaches Highway 38 near Angelus Oaks, increasing the threat to the mountain communities

The fire is 6 miles south of Big Bear Lake in southern California

map of the El Dorado Fire
3-D map of the El Dorado Fire at 11:44 p.m. PDT Sept 14, 2020; looking east.

The El Dorado Fire slowly burned down slope towards the Angelus Oaks community Monday night allowing fire resources the opportunity to secure indirect and direct firelines in preparation for active fire Tuesday. Firefighters are prepared to conduct firing operations around Angeles Oaks if needed using hand crews and fire engine crews.

The portion of the fire north of Oak Glen has not spread much in recent days but it was very active Monday and Tuesday south and east of Angelus Oaks where it ran over the ridge and is working its way down to Highway 38 east of the community.

The fire is northeast of Yucaipa, California just west of the Apple Fire that burned 33,000 acres 5 weeks ago, and it is 6 miles south of Big Bear Lake.

Tuesday there was an 8 to 10 mph wind gusting to 20 mph above the 6,000 foot elevation. The weather remains hot and dry. Officials said the fire could align with topography and burn actively upslope towards the San Bernardino Peak (northeast) towards the Lake Fire scar. The threat has increased for the mountain communities north of Highway 38.

The incident management team is having difficulty obtaining the firefighting resources they need.

This blaze which has blackened 17,532 acres and destroyed 4 homes was started by a pyrotechnic device used at a gender reveal party September 5, 2020.

According to the National Situation Report, resources assigned to the fire include 19 hand crews, 205 fire engines, and 11 helicopters for a total of 1,319 personnel.

map of the El Dorado Fire
Map of the El Dorado Fire at 11:44 p.m. PDT Sept 14, 2020.
El Dorado Fire, Sept 11, 2020
El Dorado Fire, Sept 11, 2020. InciWeb.

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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. Google+

8 thoughts on “El Dorado Fire approaches Highway 38 near Angelus Oaks, increasing the threat to the mountain communities”

  1. What are the pros and cons of using autonomous drones that could be airborne 24/7 to search out and do fast put downs.
    The cost has got be less than the current methodology.

    1. The problem with drones is similar to most air support — they don’t do well in heavy smoke or high winds both frequent occurences in intense fires.

  2. What they need to put down is these darn arsonists. Light 6 fires in 2 weeks… get caught…released…and then do it again just to prove that the system is messed up. We had a cure for it when I was growing up 60 years ago but that is not politically correct anymore…our town was 17 miles wide with no cops… we had old timers and they did not play around. I remember a few high school boys who ” fell down while running away “. they never did it twice… not sure what the answer is, but letting them go sure does not seem to be working… 20 years in the can does not seem like enough to make up for their twisted sense of justice when thousands of people have been so badly hurt by this. Even the death penalty does not seem like it is able to make amends for all the hurt. Sure seems like alot of what we are seeing now maybe arson/politically related. Only hope is that they will get some rain…or even snow to help end this needless destruction… Jail them by the busload!.

    1. If you’re referring to the guy recently arrested in Washington state I’m pretty sure that was a mental health issue, not a political statement. And all of his fires were caught small and put out. I think he is being held for psych evaluation at the moment.

      1. he is just one of many…who is to say what the issues are? in the mid 1970’s i ran a tower. we had 300 fires in a district. finally caught a volunteer who showed up to a fire that we dispatched on a secret channel. they never got dispatched but he knew exactly where the fire was. We had another case where we has 21 fires in 6 minutes on the same road…same thing …a volunteer throwing things out of a pickup. Things will always happen but once you catch them for heaven’s sake…do not let them go. especially when you are talking millions versus a few hundred feet like our fires were at the time. The DA’s need to be charged as an accessory if they do.

      2. When a person becomes mentally ill (reprobate) to their God given conscience where they do not care to do right but their actions endanger others they need to be imprisoned and if they take a life, then their life is required!

  3. I’m posting here a crazy idea I had this morning on how to approach the increasingly unpredictable nature of wildland fire in the west. It’s not fully fleshed out but I thought I’d toss it out here for the audience of Wildfire Today to pick at and improve.

    A Modest Proposal for Managing Wildland Fire

    Given the inherently unpredictable nature of wildland fire occurrence year-to-year and the likelihood that this will increase in coming years I’d like to propose a path forward. This would be a 3-pronged approach to develop and maintain the necessary equipment, training, and personnel to call upon when needed.

    First, cross-train a significant percent of the current National Guard system for fire logistical support and for operating and maintaining the high-technology equipment often called upon in a fire but that remains in short supply — MAFS air tankers, helicopters, etc. A big part of this role would be maintaining and distributing the necessary equipment and support for call-up crews on the ground. In that regard it would be somewhat similar to their current mission for maintaining and distributing military support, just focused on a wildland fire mission. Much of the current and new infrastructure to do this could likely be cross-utilized during non-fire seasons or low-fire years.

    Second, purchase and maintain distributed networks of essential fire personal gear and tools to outfit call-up crews on short notice when needed. This would require a substantial investment in preparedness as well as ongoing maintenance and replacement as equipment aged out and a support logistical team to keep it all organized. It would be expensive as it would need to be dedicated equipment in many cases to always be available.

    Lastly, establish an analog of the National Guard but for wildland fire suppression including enabling legislation providing for monetary support and protection against job loss during a call up. It would have similar types of mandatory annual training requirements and service and similar commitments to serve when needed in exchange to National Guard-like benefits, just without the guns.

    This wouldn’t be easy or cheap but would provide for a larger, more rapidly deployed trained suppression force when needed for these large scale events.

    1. Sorry for the double-posting in the exploding trees article — it didn’t look like this one had gone through several hours after I did it so I reposted over there.

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