Pilot Fire near Silverwood Lake grows to 6,298 acres; 6 percent contained

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
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The Pilot Fire near Silverwood Lake grew to 6,298 acres by Monday evening and is at 6 percent containment, according to fire officials.

SILVERWOOD LAKE, Calif. (KABC) -- The Pilot Fire grew to 6,298 acres by Monday evening, with just 6 percent containment as the fast-moving blaze triggered evacuations and school closings in communities around the San Bernardino National Forest.

Dozens of families were hoping they have a home to come back to as firefighters continued to battle the monster blaze in the forest north of Crestline near Silverwood Lake.

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

More than 4,700 homes were impacted by voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders, which continued to expand throughout the day Monday.

Among areas under mandatory evacuation orders were: Arrowhead Lake Road, south of Hesperia Lakes to Highway 173; the Deer Park Lodge neighborhood of Lake Arrowhead; the Summit Valley area east of Cedar Springs Dam.

Voluntary evacuations were also in place for north Lake Arrowhead, from Brentwood east to Highway 173 - all neighborhoods north of the lake, according to the sheriff's department. Additional voluntary evacuations included Golf Course Road east to North Bay Road - everything north of Peninsula to Highway 173.

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.

The Apple Valley Unified School District said it will be closed Tuesday because of poor air quality caused by the fire. The Hesperia Unified School District will also be closed.

The Pilot Fire is burning north of Silverwood Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest.

San Bernardino County fire officials said the Pilot Fire was burning north, as 843 personnel continued the fire fight.

Fire officials from the U.S. National Forest Service said conditions were ripe for fire due to the drought.

"The vegetation is incredibly dry. All it takes is just one spark for it to move rapidly through, and that's quite frankly what happened yesterday...," said Bob Poole of the U.S. National Forest Service.

Although the brush fire was not in a densely populated area, about three dozen evacuations were ordered. Smoke advisories issued by health officials for the Mojave Desert area were also still in effect.

Those with small and large animals can take them to Devore Animal Shelter, located at 19777 Shelter Way in San Bernardino.

Highway 173 was closed between State Route-138 and Arrowhead Lake Road.

Those with questions regarding the Pilot Fire were urged to call the San Bernardino Fire Information Center at (909)383-5688.

No homes were burned in the fire as of Monday afternoon and no injuries were reported. Homes were protected by the use of fire retardant dropped from the air and gel applied by firefighters on the ground.

It was not clear what sparked the blaze.