Faulty Vehicle Exhaust Blamed for Igniting Apple Fire
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
A diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from its exhaust system was responsible for igniting the Apple Fire east of Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday, citing a statement from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Riverside County Fire Department.
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So far, no deaths or serious injuries have been reported as the fire – one of the first of the 2020 wildfire season – continues to spread.
As of about 9:30 p.m. Monday, the fire had scorched 26,850 acres – or roughly 42 square miles – according to an update from the InciWeb incident information website. "The Apple Fire is continuing to spread to the north across the head of the Mill Creek Canyon, and east into the San Gorgonio wilderness," InciWeb said.
Apple Fire Prompts Evacuation of Roughly 7,800 Residents
The blaze grew by nearly 6,000 acres overnight Sunday and destroyed at least five structures by Monday night, KTLA Channel 5 reported. "The fire has prompted officials to issue evacuation orders to approximately 2,500 households, impacting roughly 7,800 residents."
"Containment on the fire, which began in Riverside County and has spread to parts of San Bernardino County, stands at 7 percent," the TV station said.
As the Apple Fire burns into the wilderness, the vegetation is becoming sparse, which is limiting the fire's intensity. The fire is being driven primarily by record-low moisture in the vegetation combined with high temperatures and low relative humidity, InciWeb explained.
The fire started last Friday afternoon in Cherry Valley, Calif., southwest of the San Bernardino National Forest. By Monday morning it had spread across 26,450 acres, and was only 5% contained as of about 7:15 a.m. local time, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.
"Crews battling the blaze have had to contend with challenging weather conditions, with warm temperatures and strengthening afternoon winds expected," The LA Times said.
Cal Fire has had fire engines placed in every neighborhood as more than 1,300 firefighters stood guard, saving hundreds of homes this weekend, CBS News reported. "And the air attack gave the Apple Fire a one-two punch, pushing it farther into the San Bernardino National Forest and away from the communities below."
"The firefighters did a fabulous job keeping everything under control they were on it right away," area resident Joanne Erbe told CBS News.