Brush fire near Big Bear spreads to 1,100 acres as evacuation orders expand

Thursday, September 8, 2022
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Evacuation orders remained in effect near Big Bear on Wednesday as crews continued to battle a brush fire that has spread to 1,100 acres.

BIG BEAR, Calif. (KABC) -- Evacuation orders remained in effect near Big Bear on Wednesday as crews continued to battle a brush fire that has spread to nearly 1,100 acres.

The blaze, located north of Highway 38 in the Barton Flats area, is 2% contained, fire officials said Wednesday night. Firefighters are attacking the flames from the air and the ground to keep the fire from jumping the ridgeline and prevent it from reaching Big Bear.

The Radford Fire was first spotted around 2 p.m. Monday in an area between the ski resorts Snow Summit and Bear Mountain.

The Snow Summit Ski Resort has been helping firefighters with their snow-making equipment to keep the fire from jumping over that ridge.

"Thankfully we were on hand, we had staff prepared... before response teams were actually able to get on site, which actually did a really good job of helping us suppress and keep the fire line where it's at today," said Justin Kanton with Snow Summit.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department ordered evacuations for several areas, including Glass Road to South Fork River Road in the Seven Oaks area.

Another evacuation order was issued for residents between Beverly Lane and Castlerock as well as Summit Boulevard East to Club View and Evergreen Drive South.

An evacuation warning was issued for areas from Club View to Angels Camp from Vine to Lassen; and for Summit Boulevard to McAllister Road to Highway 18 between Fox Farm and Evergreen.

A Red Cross evacuation center was established at Big Bear High School on Maple Lane for affected residents.

Bear Valley Unified schools, excluding Fallsvale School, were closed Wednesday due to the blaze - and will remain closed Thursday and Friday, district officials announced.

Caltrans says State Route 38 is closed in both directions from Mill Creek Road to Lakewood Road, according to the San Bernardino National Forest.

The cause of the fire has not been determined and remains under investigation.

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The San Bernardino County Public Health Department on Wednesday issued a smoke advisory due to the fire, warning people in the area to take precautions if they have health or respiratory issues.