RIVERSIDE—The Apple Fire which is burning in Riverside and San Bernardino has grown to over 26,450 acres and is 5 percent contained, the California Interagency Incident Management Team announced on August 3. The fire was first reported at 4:55 p.m. on July 31, and is believed to have been started by a “vehicle malfunction, specifically, a diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system,” the Riverside County Fire Department revealed in a statement issued August 3.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection tweeted an update on August 2 that read:
“#Applefire off of Oak Glen Road and Apple Tree Lane, North of Cherry valley in Riverside County is 12,000 acres and 12% contained. Evacuation orders are in place.”
Since July 31, the fire has been rapidly spreading, fueled by high temperatures, dry brush, and strong winds, according to San Bernardino firefighters.
“Much of the fire activity is being driven by the record-low moisture content of the vegetation in the area combined with high temperatures and low relative humidity,” fire officials wrote in a public incident update.
During an August 2 update from fire officials, 7000 people have been evacuated, and 2,266 personnel, 29 hand-crews, 9 helicopters, 260 engines and 11 water tenders have been deployed to fight the fire. The evacuation orders have affected residents in the neighborhoods of Banning and Beaumont in Riverside, and Oak Glen in San Bernardino.
According to the California Interagency Incident Management Team’s incident page, the fire is now 15 percent contained as of August 4 at 1 p.m.