‘Pilot Fire’ in SB County Burning out of Control

‘Pilot Fire’ in SB County Burning out of Control

Martín Di Felice

Update: Pilot Fire has burned 6,963 acres with 6% containment; mandatory evacuations and school closures

A brush fire burned more than 7 square miles Monday, tripling in size overnight, near Pilot Rock Ridge above Silverwood Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Fire officials evacuated areas around Highway 138 and Old Mill Road, and around Highway 138 and State Route 173. Additional evacuations were ordered at 5 p.m. in the Summit Valley area east of Cedar Springs Dam.

More than 300 San Bernardino County Firefighters were battling the blaze, which began Sunday, along with seven air tankers. Firefighters battled overnight and containment reached 5 percent.

Smoke plumes roiled from ridges of the San Bernardino Mountains and blew all the way across the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas. Across the Mojave, officials in southern Nevada issued an air quality advisory because of smoke from the fire more than 200 miles away. The Clark County Department of Air Quality said air was unhealthy for sensitive groups, including young children, senior citizens and people with respiratory problems and cardiac disease.

Like some of the state’s other fires this summer, the blaze burned near a popular recreation area. But Silverwood Lake’s waters had been closed to swimming, fishing and boating since Aug. 4 because of an algae bloom.

A wildfire in northern San Bernardino County has burned more than 1,500 acres. 

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

There is no containment as of Sunday night.

The fire began shortly after noon Sunday, and quickly grew to more than a square mile.

Officials say the fire is growing very fast because of dry conditions.
Fire officials are evacuating areas around Summit Valley, and have shut down part of Highway 173 between State Route 138 and Arrowhead Lake Road.

More than 400 San Bernardino County firefighters are on the fire lines, and also getting support by eight air tankers.

Officials haven’t said anything about a possible cause yet.