California’s Apple Fire Prompts Evacuation Orders
LOS ANGELES—August 4, 2020—In the mountains east of Los Angeles, a wildfire was ignited Friday when a malfunctioning diesel vehicle spewed burning carbon into dry brush along a road in Cherry Valley. Fire officials investigating the fire determined the cause on Monday, according to CBS News. Known as the Apple Fire, the blaze has burned nearly 42 square miles in Riverside County. As of Monday night, the fire was just 7% contained.
Firefighters battled both triple-digit temperatures and difficult terrain as they worked to control the Apple Fire. Ultimately, they were forced to allow the fire to spread up the side of 11,000-foot Mount San Gorgonio because conditions on the steep mountainside were too treacherous for crews to work. Advisories and evacuations were ordered for 2,500 homes in the area, according to CBS News. One home and two outbuildings have been destroyed, but so far, no injuries are reported. Officials are instituting social distancing procedures and masks in evacuation centers, as the spread of COVID-19 adds another layer of complication to California’s wildfire season.
On Sunday, another fire in Northern California prompted evacuations as it burned near homes in Colusa County. A third fire destroyed two structures and burned 2 square miles in San Luis Obispo County but was 60% contained by Monday.