As of Tuesday morning, Aug. 4, the U.S. Forest Service reported that the Apple Fire, burning in Banning Canyon since Friday, Aug. 31, is at 26,850 acres and 15 percent containment with 12 structures destroyed.
A total of 2,565 personnel have participated in battling the large wildfire, including 31 hand crews, 321 engine crews, 28 dozers, 12 helicopters, two fixed wing aircraft and 50 water tenders, according to a U.S. Forest Service press release.
“The Apple Fire is continuing to spread to the north across the head of the Mill Creek Canyon, and east into the San Gorgonio Wilderness. As the fire burns into the wilderness the vegetation is becoming sparse limiting fire intensity,” the release reported. “The most significant fire behavior [Monday] was in the area of Millard Canyon on the east side of the perimeter. Fire activity is being driven primarily by record low moisture content of the vegetation combined with high temperatures and low relative humidity.”
Firefighters began constructing and improving firelines along the western perimeter of the fire to protect the communities of Forest Falls, Oak Glen and other areas.
Oak Glen is under an evacuation order while Forest Falls, Pioneertown and Rim Rock are under an evacuation warning.
The San Gorgonio Wilderness has been closed to all use by an emergency forest closure order effective as of Sunday, Aug. 2.
An evacuation center was created at Beaumont High School, 39139 Cherry Valley Blvd., Beaumont, for evacuated residents and animals.
The has been one reported injury, a firefighter.