Daniel R. Munsey, Fire Chief/Fire Warden

A rapidly spreading wildfire has torched over 34 acres of forest north of San Bernardino in about two hours, prompting a shutdown of Highway 18

Monday morning San Bernardino County Fire Crews were dispatched to a reported vegetation fire in the 2500 block of Old Waterman Canyon Road in North San Bernardino. Due to the fire being adjacent to the San Bernardino National Forest, the United States Forest Service also sent a full response, including aircraft.

Arriving crews found a vehicle fire that had already spread to 3-5 acres of vegetation. The fire was rapidly spreading uphill in medium to heavy fuels. Due to the fire being in San Bernardino County Fire’s Direct Protection Area (DPA) & an immediate threat to USFS San Bernardino National Forest land, both agencies entered unified command to work hand in hand to contain the fire. Additional resources were quickly ordered to control the fire & to protect 20 nearby homes. Arriving firefighters worked on perimeter control, line construction and deployed to homes to provide structure defense.

The Peak fire quickly spread uphill, jumping Highway 18, burning towards National Forest land. Arriving fixed and rotor wing aircraft dropped retardant and water to help slow the fire. By 3pm the fire had burned 35 acres & the forward rate of spread had been stopped. Crews transitioned to mop-up operations & worked through the night to increase containment & suppress hot spots. By nightfall the fire remained at 35 acres and was 20% contained. Steep terrain and dense vegetation hampered containment efforts.

Tuesday more than 100 personnel continued to work on mop-up, containment lines & patrolling the fires edge. Containment continued to push up, with the fire being 95% contained by nightfall. As of Wednesday morning the fire is now 100% contained. Firefighters will continue to monitor and patrol the fire for the days to come. The cause of the fire was a single-vehicle accident, which resulted in a vehicle fire that quickly spread to adjacent dry vegetation. One firefighter was injured and transported to a local hospital. He has since been released. No homes were damaged or destroyed by the fire.

San Bernardino County Fire responded with 8 Engines, two Dozers, two Hand Crews, three Water Tenders, five Chief Officers, a Command Post and numerous logistical staff. U.S. Forest Service – San Bernardino National Forest sent a full response, including rotor-wing and fixed wing air craft. CAL FIRE San Bernardino/Inyo/Mono Unit, Redlands Fire Department, San Manuel Fire Department, Chino Valley Fire District, Apple Valley Fire District Big Bear Fire District, Ontario Fire District and Rialto Fire all assisted. San Bernardino PD, San Bernardino County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol assisted with road closures & provided assistance at the command post. CAL-Trans and San Bernardino County Roads assisted with traffic control & hard closures of Highway 18 and Old Waterman Canyon roads. Thanks to our cooperators for their assistance. At the height of the fire, more than 200 firefighters worked to contain the fire.

#Cooperation #Teamwork

Incident – Vegetation Fire
Date / Time – 6/28/21, 10:51am
Location – 2500 block Old Waterman Canyon Road, San Bernardino
Contact – MMcClintock@sbcfire.org

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