At approximately 1 a.m., on Halloween, a vegetation fire broke out on Old Waterman Canyon, near Highway 18, and eventually consumed about 200 acres and several homes before it was contained.
With low humidity, the wind-swept fire grew with intensity, as it encroached on neighborhoods in North San Bernardino.
Residents warned each other of the imminent danger and many were mandatorily evacuated.
According to the San Bernardino National Forest Information Center, six homes were destroyed, and 18 homes were damaged.
During the fire, roads were closed between Highway 18 and 40th Street, in San Bernardino.
The San Bernardino County Department of Forestry, San Bernardino County Fire, the San Bernardino Police Department, Rialto Fire, Colton Fire and other fire agencies assisted with the fire.
It was noted that one firefighter had to receive medical attention due to smoke inhalation.
A home on Viento Street was completely devastated by the fire.
A team from San Bernardino County Fire Station 76 and Ontario Station 137, including Jesse Sparks, Capt. Marc Albright, engineer Blake Humbles, and firefighters Victor Lopez and Cory Santo were mopping up, the rear of a home on the 100 block of Viento Street.
In the process, flames were visible from a gas leak, from the home on Viento.
“We have to keep the gas line on,” said county firefighter Jesse Sparks. “We kept it burning so we know where it is. If we put it out, the fumes would spread, and that wouldn’t be a good thing.”
Sparks was tearing apart what was left of the roof of the home, which was now on the ground.
“You see where the smoke is rising, and you remove the debris to extinguish the flames,” said Sparks.
As the various fire agencies were mopping up the fire at the homes in North San Bernardino, a DC-10 and a DC-9 were combating the fire from the air.
When the fixed-wing air support was aloft, the two planes, took turns in making calculated drops of fire retardant in the fire zone, along the hillsides in the affected zone.
Spotter planes were surveying the area, directing the air support to their targeted areas.