Pilot Fire spreads to 7,736 acres near Silverwood Lake

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Pilot Fire spreads to 6,963 acres near Silverwood Lake
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The raging Pilot Fire spreads to nearly 7,000 acres near Silverwood Lake as firefighters battle the blaze propelled by dry conditions and strong winds.

SILVERWOOD LAKE, Calif. (KABC) -- The Pilot Fire spread to more than 7,000 acres on Tuesday as firefighters continued to battle flames burning through the San Bernardino National Forest's rough terrain.

Authorities said the fire increased overnight to 7,736 acres and was 6 percent contained.

Fire officials said they expect the winds to pick up and push the flames toward Hesperia, where mandatory evacuations remain in place.

"We realize that with the wind conditions that it could push embers to spots across the fire line, so we're keeping a close eye on that," Jake Rodriguez with the U.S. Forest Service explained.

More than 4,700 homes were impacted by voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders, and the Apple Valley, Hesperia Unified and Silver Valley Unified school districts have canceled classes for Tuesday due to poor air quality.

The Apple Valley School District stated classes would be canceled again on Wednesday.

More than 5,300 structures are threatened.

A map shows the location of the Pilot Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest.

The wildfire first erupted near Pilot Rock Conservation Camp at just 30 acres on Sunday.

According to a fire official on scene, conditions continue to be dry, paired with sustained winds with stronger gusts on the ridgetops.

Multiple agencies are coordinating the firefight from the command post in Victorville. Officials said their firefighting resources include 1,475 fire personnel, six air tankers, two large tankers and seven helicopters.

Fire officials said crews made some progress battling the blaze by improving containment lines in burn areas.

Also stationed in Victorville - a team of volunteers who are helping to care for more than 70 evacuated animals, including miniature horses, goats, chickens and a llama.


Mandatory evacuations:

- The entire community of Deer Lodge Park.

- Aleutian Drive, Klondike Drive, Evergreen Lane and Yukon Drive.

- Highway 173 north and south from Highway 138 to Arrowhead Lake Road; Arrowhead Lake Road to Hesperia Lakes Road.

Voluntary evacuations:

- North Lake Arrowhead from Brentwood east to Highway 173 - all neighborhoods north of the lake, according to the sheriff's department.

- Golf Course Road east to North Bay Road - everything north of Peninsula to Highway 173.

- Areas east of Santa Fe Road, south of Ranchero Road to Arrowhead Lake Road and north of the Spillway.

- Areas east of the Mojave River and south of Rock Springs Road to Kiowa Road.

- The community of Grass Valley Lake in addition to the area north of Peninsula and North Bay Roads to Hwy 173, and south of Hwy 173 from North Bay Road to Grass Valley Road.

The latest evacuation information is available from the Twitter feeds of the San Bernardino County Sheriff and the San Bernardino National Forest.


The American Red Cross moved its evacuation center from Ranchero Middle School to Oak Hills High School, located at 7625 Cataba Rd.

Another evacuation center was set up at Rim of the World High School, 27400 CA-18, Twin Peaks.

Individuals with large and small animals may bring their animals to the San Bernardino County Devore Animal Shelter, located at 19777 Shelter Way in San Bernardino.


Highway 173 is closed from SR-138 to North Bay Road. Forest roads 2N33, 2N17X, 2N36 and 2N37 remain closed, and Miller Canyon OHV Area remains closed.