YUCAIPA (CBSLA) – Thousands of people remained under evacuation orders for a seventh straight day Friday as the pyrotechnic-caused El Dorado Fire continued to burn in the San Bernardino National Forest amid dry, blustery conditions and in steep, rough terrain.
The fire has ripped through 13,920 acres in and around Yucaipa and is 37% contained Friday. While evacuation orders were lifted for some areas Thursday, they still remained in place for several communities.
It has destroyed four homes and damaged two more in the Oak Glen area, the U.S. Forest Service reported. It has also destroyed six outbuildings and damaged another four. Another 11,000 remain threatened.
No homes have been lost in the Forest Falls or Mountain Home Village communities despite some very close calls.
The fire jumped north of Highway 38 twice on Thursday. The first jump occurred just east of the Mountain Home Village, but did not burn any homes there as firefighters made good progress on the blaze.
“The hard work by the ground crews over the past several days has successfully held the fire behind Mountain Home Village along the fire control lines,” USFS wrote on its incident information page. “Crews continue mop up and extinguish hot spots to protect the community.”
On Wednesday, firefighters courageously protected several homes on Canyon Drive in Forest Falls that were very nearly lost. However, the fire is continuing to threaten Forest Falls.
“The fire continues to progress slowly downslope as it backs down into Forest Falls,” USFS said Friday in a news release. “The hard work by fire resources over this last week is allowing for a successful defense of structures.”
Some evacuation orders were lifted Thursday, but several remained in place for Oak Glen, Mountain Home and Village Falls, along with all areas between Angelus Oaks and Onyx Summit.
Also still under mandatory evacuation area all homes and businesses north and east of Highway 38 and Bryant Street to Carter Street, south on Jefferson Street to Avenue East South to Wildwood Canyon Road to the intersection with Oak Glen.
The San Bernardino National Forest remains closed to the public, as are all 18 national forests throughout California due to the historic slew of wildfires burning up and down the state.
Highway 38 remains closed between Bryant Street and Lake Williams Drive.
The El Dorado Fire broke out at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday at El Dorado Ranch Park in the 37000 block of Oak Glen Road. It was started by a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device at a gender reveal party. A family was taking part in a gender reveal photo in the park, using pyrotechnics. One of the family members stayed behind and tried to extinguish the fire, CAL Fire said.
Family members could face charges including use of pyrotechnics and recklessly causing a fire, although officials emphasized that the investigation is ongoing. They could also be held responsible for costs associated with battling the fire and the damage caused by it.