Big Bear News – San Bernardino National Forest – While many wildfires cause minimal damage to the land and pose few threats to the land or people downstream, some fires cause damage that requires special efforts to prevent problems afterwards. Wildfire increases the potential for flooding, post-fire soil erosion and debris flows that could impact homes, structures, campgrounds, aquatic dependent plants and animals, roads, and other infrastructure within, adjacent to, and downstream from the burned area.
The Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team working with the San Bernardino NF to assess post fire conditions of the watersheds on federal land that were burned in the Apple Fire. The BAER assessment team identifies potential emergency threats to critical values-at-risk and recommends emergency stabilization response actions that are implemented on federal lands to reduce potential threats.
Monsoonal storms bring heavy rain and rapid runoff from burned areas. Residents and visitors should remain alert to weather events and plan ahead when travelling along roads and trails within and downstream from the burned areas on the San Bernardino National Forest. Flash flooding may occur quickly during heavy rain events, so be prepared to take action.
As fire crews continue to gain the upper hand on the 33,424-acre Apple Fire, incident commanders have determined there is no longer an immediate threat to users of the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail will reopen on Friday, Aug. 21. The existing closure that will be lifted is between the Cottonwood Trailhead, near the community of Whitewater, and Forest Road No. 1N01 (Pipes Canyon Road) on Onyx Summit.
Portions of the San Gorgonio Wilderness on the San Bernardino National Forest, including inbound trails and associated parking lots, will remain closed at this time. Crews continue to work in the wilderness, addressing interior sections of the fire, which is currently 95 percent contained. Until the interior pockets of heat are mitigated, there remains a risk that the fire could flare up and move deeper into the wilderness. Incident commanders will consult the Burned Area Emergency Response team on modifying the closure at a future date based on potential debris flows.