Over the weekend, firefighters gained the upper hand on the Apple Fire burning in the San Bernardino National Forest.

As of 7 a-m on Monday, August 10th, containment is now at 45%. The fire has burned 32,905 acres or 51.4 square miles.

Evacuation orders have been rescinded for Forest Falls, Rimrock and Pioneertown, and all of Riverside County.

There is a decreased threat to life and property.

However, an Evacuation Warning for Morongo Valley remains in effect for both sides of Highway 62.

Some personnel and equipment have been sent home as the focus shifts from structural protection to backcountry firefighting operations.

Along the northern perimeter of the fire, much of the fireline is inaccessible by foot. Wildland Fire Modules were transported by helicopter to this area to scout opportunities for natural barriers to limit the fire spread. Additional crews hiked narrow ridges to look for fires ignited by embers outside the perimeter. No spot fires were found.

One easy and potentially life-saving task that all residents can do right now is signing up for the emergency alert system in their county. These systems help public safety officials to provide critical updates, such as evacuation notifications, as quickly as possible.

San Bernardino Residents

Telephone Emergency Notification System


Riverside County Residents



The San Gorgonio Wilderness is closed to all use. An Emergency Forest Closure Order is in effect as of August 2, 2020. The order prohibits all entry into the San Gorgonio Wilderness and some adjacent areas. Additionally, all Forest Service recreation areas in the Forest Falls area are closed. Fire restrictions have increased across the San Bernardino National Forest. Please refer to the Forest web page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf for additional details.

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail: Due to closures in both the San Bernardino National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management. The PCT is closed to all traffic between the Cottonwood Trailhead, near the community of San Gorgonio and Forest Road 1N101 (Pipes Canyon Road).

Safety Message: In addition to dealing with the inherent hazards of fighting a wildland fire, firefighters are taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by limiting inter-crew face-to-face interactions to what is operationally necessary to engage the fire safely.

There is a temporary flight restriction over the fire and vicinity. It is illegal to fly drones within the restricted area. Remember, “When you fly, we can’t”.

Smoke Advisory: Smoke from the Apple Fire has impacted communities to the east. Unhealthful air quality can result in the exacerbation of some medical issues, especially lung problems. Residents with medical issues affected by smoke are encouraged to stay indoors and avoid strenuous activity in smoky conditions.

CDC tips for reducing smoke exposure:

  • Create a clean room with filtered air
  • Limit time spent outdoors during smoky conditions
  • If you are experiencing smoke exposure symptoms, contact your healthcare provider if you have health-related concerns

Check your local air district webpage for current air quality information. South Coast Air Quality Monitoring District for communities in the Inland Empire and low desert.  Mojave Desert Air Quality Monitoring District for communities in the eastern and high desert areas. The California Smoke Info Blog has fire specific smoke forecasts.


Photo from US Forest Service, Inciweb

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