A large wildfire burning in the San Bernardino National Forest near Big Bear continued to grow with very little containment as it made its way toward a local ski resort Wednesday.
The blaze, dubbed the Radford Fire, had burned 990 acres and was just 2% contained, the U.S. Forest Service stated in an update shortly before 8:30 a.m.
The fire was first spotted in the Barton Flats area around 1:30 p.m. Monday by a Forest Service helicopter doing lightning reconnaissance. Since then, it has expanded rapidly in steep, wooded terrain south of Big Bear Lake and north of the Santa Ana River.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Several evacuation orders have been issued:
- The area between Glass Road and South Fork River Road along the Hwy 38 corridor.
- Knickerbocker Road west to Castle Rock, and from Pine Knot Road South to the 2N10 road.
- The area south of Evergreen /South of Moon Ridge between Summit Blvd and Club View Drive.
- Club View to Angels Camp from Vine to Lassen; and for Summit Blvd to McAllister Rd to Hwy 18 between Fox Farm and Evergreen.
An evacuation center was established at Big Bear High School, 351 Maple Lane. Those with animals can get assistance by contacting San Bernardino Animal Care and Control at 800-472-5609.
Ten firefighting crews with 44 engines and eight water tenders are battling the blaze alongside aircraft. A total of 471 personnel have been sent to help with the firefight, the Forest Service said.
Officials have also closed Highway 38 from Valley of the Falls Drive east to Lake Williams Drive.
Mountain community residents with proof of residency will be allowed through the closure, the Forest Service said.
The Bear Valley Unified School District has made the decision to close all schools (with the exception of Fallsville) for the rest of the week, meaning classes won’t be held on Thursday or Friday.