Big Bear wildfire threatens hundreds of homes

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BIG BEAR, Calif. - Firefighters were battling a brush fire that erupted in Big Bear near Snow Summit Ski Resort and prompted mandatory evacuations in the area on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

The Summit Fire broke out near Pine Knot Avenue and Knickerbocker Road around 12:30 p.m., and within an hour had grown to 10 acres, the San Bernardino County Fire Department said.

By 6:45 p.m., it had scorched 100 acres and was 30 percent contained, according to the San Bernardino National Forest’s Twitter account.

Mandatory evacuations were issued for the area from Knickerbocker Road east to Georgia Road, and south of Pennsylvania Road to the forest boundary, according to InciWeb, a multi-agency incident website.

Voluntary evacuations were in place for the area south of Brownie Lane, east of Thrush Drive, north of Switzerland Drive and west of Summit Boulevard.

Four hundred to 500 homes were threatened by the fire, said Travis Mason, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service. There were no immediate reports of injuries, KTLA reported.

Three forest roads, 2N06 (Radford), 1N54 (Clarks Grade) and 2N93 (Wildhorse) were  also closed because of the blaze, InciWeb stated.

By late afternoon, four fixed-wing air tankers and four helicopters were making water drops, according to the website. Twelve engines and two fire crews were also at the scene.

The fire was burning through a combination of timber and brush, and flames were spreading at a moderate rate in moderate to heavy fuels, InciWeb reported.

Around 6 p.m. on Sunday, the temperature in the area was 80 degrees, with humidity at 15 percent and lights winds with speeds of 5 to 8 mph blowing from the southwest.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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