Big Bear News – Big Bear, CA – Firefighting personnel and forest land managers are growing increasingly concerned about the uptick in illegal campfires that have sprung up all over the forest. With the increase in visitor use, there has been an issue with fires being setup outside designated fire rings at developed campgrounds. These pose a serious fire threat and will only get more serious as the summer temperatures get hotter and vegetation dries out more.
On Monday afternoon, a fire prevention technician on patrol discovered an escaped illegal and abandoned campfire to the southwest of Big Bear Lake on Forest Road 2N11 (Santa Ana Divide Road). Two engines, a water tender and a chief responded. Crews were able to keep the fire to 50 ft. by 100 ft.
Yesterday, there was another small fire related to an illegal campfire. It was called in at 3:42 p.m. by a volunteer fire lookout at Keller Peak. Called the Fork Fire (named after the South Fork of the Santa Ana River), it was located off East Flats Road (1N84) in the Barton Flats area (south of Big Bear). A camper was identified as a suspect and was cited into federal court.
Law enforcement and fire patrols continue to monitor for illegal campfires. Violators will be cited.