Latest Information on “Lake Fire”: Friday, June 19

From the U.S. Forest Service: Lake Fire Update as of 8 a.m. on Friday, June 19

The fire has burned 11,000 acres, 400 structures are threatened but none have been lost.

The fire continues to burn in the eastern San Bernardino Mountains near the San Gorgonio Wildnerness.

Firefighters are focusing their efforts to prevent the fire from crossing Hwy 38. Ten engines and a bulldozer are patrolling in the Morongo Valley and Pioneer town areas today (Friday, June 19, 2015).

Last night fire crews directly attacked the fire’s edge and protected structures.

Hwy. 38 remains closed from Angelus Oaks to Lake Williams. Jenks Lake Road is closed. Evacuations includes areas east of Angelus Oaks including Barton Flats, Seven Oaks, Rainbow Lane, Heart Bar and all cabins and campgrounds in the South Fork area. The American Red Cross has a standby location to address any future sheltering or evacuation center needs.

All hiking trails into the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area are closed due to the proximity of the fire to them. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Whitewater Preserve to Onyx Summit.

SoCal Team 1, a federal inter-agency fire team,is managing the fire and has set up the Incident Command Post at Big Bear High School. Forest Service, San Bernardino County Fire, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s and CalFire are working together in a unified command.

 

 

Fire Burning Near Jenk’s Lake: Evacuations Underway

The U.S. Forest Service has just sent a news update on the Lake Fire that is burning east of Camp de Benneville Pines and south of Jenks Lake Road in the San Bernardino National Forest. According to the Forest Service the closest community near Jenk’s Lake is Angeles Oaks, off Hwy. 38. Recent information has also been received from Laura Dyberg of the Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council so I have combined and updated as much of the information as possible.

Currently, 7,500 acres have burned and at the time of the forest service press release  the fire continues to burn as it is only five percent contained. The cause of the fire is under investigation. In the information Laura  Dyberg released she said that 500 personnel, 32 engines, five air tankers, 13 crews, eight water tenders and three bulldozers are on the scene.

At the time of this release the fire was being fought by 32 fire engines, two air tankers,, seven helicopters (including those that are considered night-flying helicopters), one air-attack plane, 13 crews, eight water tenders and three bulldozers. Additional firefighting resources have been ordered.

The management of the fire i s under a Unified Command with San Bernardino County Fire and San Bernardino County Sheriff. A type 2 Interagency Incident team is expected to take over managing the “incident (AKA fire)” at 6 p.m. tonight.

Information I received from Laura Dyberg of the Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council said that structures are threatened.  All hiking trails into the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area have been closed Preserve to Onyx Summit.due to the proximity of the fire to many hiking trails. Also, the Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Whitewater  Preserve to Onyx Summit.

 

Forest Service Raises Fire Restrictions in San Bernardino National Forest

Smokey the BearAs the seasonal fire danger rises, forest officials are increasing fire use restrictions in the San Bernardino National Forest as of Thursday, June 19.

As California’s three-year drought continues, the forest has experienced below average winter snow and rainfall. During the spring, there were several Santa Ana wind events along with warm, dry weather, leading to drier fuel conditions. The seasonal weather outlook predicts temperatures above normal and low humidity, which could create the potential for large fires.

With the current and forecasted conditions, forest officials are taking steps to prevent human caused fires and to raise public awareness. Most wildfires on the San Bernardino National Forest are human-caused fires and increased restrictions are designed to reduce wildland fires.

All forest visitors are reminded to exercise caution when visiting the National Forest and to maintain a higher level of awareness with the increased fire risk. Travelers through the forest should remain on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass. “With the dry weather, we ask the public’s help to prevent destructive wildfires,” said Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. “We want visitors to enjoy their public lands, but they need to use common sense in the process,” she said.

Fire restrictions effective on Thursday, June 19 in the San Bernardino National Forest are as follows:

* Wood and charcoal fires are permitted only in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds and within forest service provided fire rings or camp stoves.

* Wood and charcoal fires are not permitted at Yellow Post campsites.

* Campfire permits are required for propane and gas stoves and lanterns used outside of all developed recreation sites.

* Recreational shooting is limited to public shooting ranges operated under special use permits only, except those engaged in legal hunting.

* An approved spark arrester is required for any internal combustion engine operated on designated forest routes. These include chainsaws, generators, motorcycles and off-highway vehicles.

* Smoking is limited to an enclosed vehicle or building, or within a Developed Recreational Site.

* Fireworks are always prohibited in the San Bernardino National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with the posted restrictions. Violation of these prohibitions is subject to punishment by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both, as Class B misdemeanors under federal law. People may also be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs and any injuries that occur if they are found liable for causing a wildfire.

Forest visitors are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” and call ahead to the local Ranger Station to check on location conditions and restrictions.

* San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor’s Office  (909) 382-2600. Big Bear Discovery Center (909) 382-2790. Idyllwild Ranger Station (909) 382-2922. Lytle Creek Ranger Station (909) 382-2851. Mill Creek Visitor Center (909) 382-2881. Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument visitor center (760) 862-9984.

Did you know that the Forest Service manages 193 million (yes, million) acres of public land? They also provide assistance to state and private landowners and they maintain the largest forestry research organization in the world. The public lands the agency manages contribute more than $13 billion to the country’s economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion a year. In addition the agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the United States. Of that figure 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

 

 

 

 

San Bernardino National Forest Announces New Mountaintop District Ranger

New Mountaintop District Ranger Marc Stamer
New Mountaintop District Ranger Marc Stamer

 

Marc Stamer has been selected as the new District Ranger on the Mountaintop Ranger District of the San Bernardino National Forest. Stamer is currently the Forest, Wildlife, Fish and Rare Plant Program Manager on the Coronado National Forest in Arizona. Prior to that assignment, from 2001 to 2012, he was the District Biologist on the Mountaintop District.

As District Ranger Stamer will oversee the Mountaintop Ranger District which includes a staff of 135 employees. The ranger district is located in San Bernardino County and encompasses the mountain communities from Crestline to Big Bear as well as the Barton Flats area.

Stamer also serves as a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team leader. As a member of the BAER team, he has responded to numerous large fires throughout the west, determining the need for, and to prescribe and implement emergency treatments to minimize threats to life or property resulting from the effects of a wildland fire.

“We are delighted to welcome Marc back to the Mountaintop Ranger District,” said Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. “His extensive knowledge of the area along with his strong background in natural resource management makes him a good fit for the Ranger District and the mountain communities.”

Earlier in his career Stamer held various positions as a biologist for the Forest Service, starting in Recreation on the forest. Marc also worked at nearby Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area a park interpretive specialist. Stamer held other positions, serving as a biological consultant for a private environmental  firm, as a science aide for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and as a biological technician for the University of Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group.  He holds a bachelor of science degree in biological Sciences and two associates degrees in Life Sciences and general Education.

“I’m honored to be returning to the Mountaintop Ranger District and serving as District Ranger,” Stamer said. “I look forward to serving and working with our staff, partners and the local communities.”

Stamer reports to his new position on July 27. He will fill the vacancy left behind when former District Ranger Scott Tangenberg took a job last year as Deputy Forest Supervisor on the Stanislaus National Forest.

 

Forest Service: Huge Etiwanda Fire Caused by Illegal Campfire

fireAn illegal campfire has been found to have the source of the recent  devastating 2,190 acre Etiwanda Fire.

Once conditions in Day Canyon were deemed safe, investigators hiked into the remote upper portion of the canyon and located evidence of an illegal campfire. Investigators believe the campfire may have been smoldering for a few days until he strong winds blew embers into nearby brush. Wood and charcoal fires are only permitted in designated campgrounds and picnic areas and never are allowed in the general forest area.

Forest and fire officials are asking for the public’s assistance. If you observed any hikers, or people in the area, during the week leading up to the fire, call the WeTip  Hotline at (800) 472-7766 or submit the tip online at: http://wetip.com/submit-anonymous-tip-2/

For more information on the recent Etiwanda Fire visit: http://inclweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3848 or call the record message line at (909) 383-5688 or follow the Forest Service on Twitter at https://twitter.comSanBernardinoNF.

With the summer season approaching forest visits are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” and  call ahead to the local Ranger Station to check on location conditions and restrictions at the following offices: San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor’s office (909) 382-2600, Big Bear Discovery Center (909) 382-2790; Idyllwild Ranger Station (909) 382-2922; Lytle Creek Ranger Station (909) 382-2851; Mill Creek Visitor Center (909) 382-2881 or the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center at (760) 862-9984.

Residents can also help. For more information on how to make your home and community adapted to wildfire, contact your local fire sale council or visit: http://www.fireadapted.org.

 

It’s That Time Again……….Volunteers Needed to Count Bald Eagles

eagle_face_treesVolunteers are needed to help county bald eagles for the 35th season in the annual bald eagle counts in and near the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains.

Concurrent Bald Eagle counts are held in Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Silverwood, Lake Perris and Lake Hemet. Volunteers are stationed at vantage points around the lakes where they watch for bald eagles during a one-hour period on the county mornings. Two of the events have already been held but counts will continue on February 8 and March 8.

Volunteers record their observations on maps and data sheets. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of our breathtaking national symbol. Brief orientations are conducted prior to the county so volunteers know where to go and what to do.Through this method, the agencies and land managers have learned a lot about which areas are important to eagles and how the populations are doing. But we can’t do it without a lot of volunteers….we need their eyes to help us look/” said Forest Service Biologist Robin Eliason. No experience is needed to volunteer and signing up ahead of the count is not necessary. “Just show up at the designated time and location, dress warmly, bring binoculars and a watch,” she said.

* Big Bear Lake area volunteers will meet for an orientation at 8 a.m. at the Forest Service’s Big Bear Discovery Center on North Shore Drive. Contact Drew Farr at ddpfarr@fs.fed.us or call (909) 382-2816 for information. Call (909) 382-2832 for information on a possible cancellation due to weather conditions. An outgoing message will be left by 6:30 a.m. on the morning of the count if it has to be cancelled. Contact the Discovery Center at 909-382-2790 for information about Eagle celebrations. There will also be a free slideshow about bald eagles at 11 a.m.

* Lake Arrowhead and Lake Gregory volunteers should meet at 8 a.m. at the Skyforest Ranger Station for orientation. Contact Drew Farr (dfarr) or call 909-382-2816 for information. Call 909 382-2832 to check on any possible cancellation due to weather.

* Silverwood Lake volunteers should plan to meet at the Visitor Center at 8 a.m. for orientation. Contact Kathy Williams or Mark Wright for information about volunteering or taking an eagle tour (760-389-2303) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or e-mail: khwilliams@parks.ca.gov.

* Lake Hemet volunteers should meet at the Lake Hemet Grocery store at 8:30 a.m. for orientation. Contact Anne Poopatanapong (apoopatanapong@fs.fed.us) or call (909) 382-2935 for information.

* Lake Perris State Recreation Area volunteers should meet at the Lake Perris Regional Indian Museum at 8 a.m. for orientation. Contact the office at (951) 940-5600 for information.

This always sounds like a cold, but fascinating event so bundle up and volunteer. Who knows? You may just see one of nature’s most magnificent birds and the symbol of our country.

Forest Service Raises Fire Restrictions

Forest Service flogoJune 28 the fire use restrictions in the San Bernardino National Forest will rise and residents and visitors need to be aware of the changes.

Each year the forest service makes changes, according to weather, time of year and potential issues to the forest and its visitors.

This past winter less than average winter snow and rainfall occurred as a result of the second year of drought. unfortunately the seasonal outlook again expects a warmer and drier summer this year with below average summer “monsoonal” rains. This could create the potential for larger fires.

Forest officials are taking these steps to prevent human-caused fires and to raise public awareness. Most fires in the San Bernardino National Forest are caused by humans and the increased restrictions are designed to reduce wildland fire. Forest visitors are reminded to exercise caution when visiting the National Forest and they need to maintain a higher level of awareness with the increased fire risk.

Travelers and visitors can do the following to help prevent wildland fires:

* Be informed and abide by all fire restrictions

* Vehicles should always remain on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass.

* Use extreme caution around open flame or heat-producing sources.

* Motorists should use their car ashtray instead of tossing cigarettes out the window. Also, be aware that hot brake shoes, hot exhaust system, overheating of vehicles and dragging tow chains can cause fires. Keep tow chains high and off the ground.

* Report all suspicious activities to law enforcement.

* Fire restrictions and guidelines effective Friday, June 28 on the San Bernardino National Forest include:

* Wood and charcoal fires are permitted only in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds and within agency provided fire rings or camp stoves.* Wood and charcoal fires are not permitted at Yellow Post campsites, Fisherman’s Camp, Cedar Springs or the following Pacific Crest Trail Camps: Bench Camp, Deer Springs, Doble, Holcomb Crossing, Little Bear Springs and Mission Springs.

* Campfire permits are required for propane and gas stoves and lanterns used outside of all developed recreation sites.

* Recreational shooting is limited to Public Shooting ranges operated under special use permit only, except those engage din legal hunting.

* An approved spark arrester is required for any internal combustion engine operated on designated forest routes. These include chainsaws, generators, motorcycles and off-highway vehicles.

* Smoking is limited to an enclosed vehicle or building or within a Developed Recreation site.

* Fireworks are ALWAYS prohibited

in the San Bernardino National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service will be aggressively citing those who do not comply with the posted restrictions. Violation of these prohibitions is subject to punishment of a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both, as Class B misdemeanors under federal law.

People may also be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs and any injuries that occur if they are found liable for causing a wildfire.

Forest visitors are encouraged to “know Before You Go” and call ahead to the local Ranger station to check on location conditions and restrictions at the following offices:

* San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor’s office, 602 S. Tippecanoe Avenue, San Bernardino. (909)382-2790;

* Big Bear Discovery Center, 41397 North Shore Drive/ Hwy. 18, Fawnskin, (909) 382-2790;

* Idyllwild Ranger station, 54270 Pine Crest, Idyllwild. (909) 382-2922.

* Lytle Creek Ranger Station, 1209 Lytle Creek Road, Lytle Creek. (909) 382-2851.

Mill Creek Visitor Center, 34701 Mill Creek Road, Mentone. (909) 382-2881.

* Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, 51-500  Hwy. 74, Palm Desert. (760) 862-9984.

ENJOY THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND BUT TAKE PRECAUTIONS

TO PROTECT THE FOREST WE ALL ENJOY!