YUCAIPA (CBSLA) — Firefighters on Sunday continued to battle intense flames in the Yucaipa area as a 7,050-acre brush fire continues to burn amid extreme weather conditions.
The El Dorado fire erupted around 10:30 a.m. Saturday at El Dorado Ranch Park, and by afternoon, had spurred the evacuation of about 3,000 residents.
The fire remained at 5 percent containment, with more than 600 personnel battling the flames.
“It burned in four different directions since we’ve been here. It was pushing to the east, then to the north, and then big westwardly wind shift, and (Sunday) it moved to the south. The wind has been pretty dramatically inconsistent,” said Ben Holmes, a U.S. Forest Service senior firefighter on the Arroyo Grande Hotshots team.
An evacuation center has been established at a Red Cross reception site located at the Yucaipa Community Center at 34900 Oak Glen Road in Yucaipa, 92399.
The following areas remain under evacuation: Oak Glen, Hwy 38 Area of Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls, North Bench Yucaipa (All Resident north of Yucaipa Blvd, East of Bryant, and south of Hwy 38, and all residents North of Carter, west of Bryant, and South of Highway 38).
An evacuation warning remains in effect for North Bench Yucaipa (west of Jefferson Street north of Oak Glen Road, east of Bryant Street, south of the Yucaipa Ridge).
The fire also prompted road closures, which include Highway 38 at Bryant St. in Yucaipa and the community of Angelus Oaks; Oak Glen Rd. between Pine Bench Rd. and Cherry Croft Dr.; Bryant Street North of Yucaipa Blvd; and a soft closure on Highway 38 at Lake Williams Dr. (south of Big Bear, CA) to warn drivers of the closure in Angelus Oaks.
Officials released a statement on Sunday night, describing the origin of the fire as a device used in a gender reveal party:
“Cal Fire Law Enforcement has determined the El Dorado Fire, burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County, was caused by a smoke generating pyrotechnic device, used during a gender reveal party,” Cal Fire San Bernardino Unit said. “The fire began at 10:23 am on September 5, 2020 in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. The fire spread from the park to the north on to Yucaipa Ridge that separates Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls from the City of Yucaipa.”
Cal Fire also warned that people who start fires due to illegal activity or negligence can be held criminally and financially responsible.