Apple fire in Riverside, San Bernardino counties at more than 20,000 acres, 0% containment

by in News

The Apple fire that started in Riverside County’s Cherry Valley  was at more than 20,000 acres Sunday, spreading its charred footprint by more than 16,000 acres in less than 24 hours, with its smoke plume spreading to Arizona.

It was at 0% containment  late Sunday morning, the San Bernardino National Forest said, a reversal from an earlier assessment that put containment at 12%.

Despite the fire’s furious spread, which took it into San Bernardino County, one home and two outbuildings remain the only reported structure damage, Cal Fire/Riverside County said. No injuries have been reported.

Evacuation orders remained in effect for several areas, along with voluntary evacuation advisories. Unhealthful air quality was expected for parts of the San Gorgonio Pass, the Coachella Valley and eastern Riverside County due to smoke from  fire, the South Coast Air Quality Management District said.

The San Bernardino National Forest closed the San Gorgonio Wilderness area, including all of the trails leading to it, as well as roads and parking lots associated with the area. Also closed are the Big Falls Trail, Falls Picnic Area and the Pacific Crest Trail  between the Forest boundary and Onyx Summit.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Firefighters have battled the blaze, first reported at 4:55 p.m. Friday, in triple-digit heat. Temperatures in the area Sunday are expected to reach the mid-90s. Winds are expected to pick up in the late morning and early afternoon, reaching 16 mph around 3 p.m.

Cal Fire reported the fire’s size as 4,125 acres at  3 p.m.Saturday; it was reported as 20,516 acres just before 10 a.m. Sunday.

This is a developing story, please check back throughout the day for more details.

City News Service contributed to this story.