HESPERIA – As the Pilot Fire continues to grow, the impact it is having on the community grows with it. Both the Apple Valley and the Hesperia Unified School District announced on Monday afternoon that the schools would be closed for the safety of the children and staff. Riverside Preparatory School and Oro Grande Elementary also announced a closure.
The fire is now 6,298 acres with 6% containment as of Monday evening according to Forest Service officials. Monday afternoon evacuations included those both voluntary and mandatory. The numbers are approximate but Sheriff’s spokeswoman, Cindy Bachman said around 4700 homes on the mountain were evacuated.
“We don’t have an exact number of how many of each,” said Bachman. “There was an increase in evacuations this afternoon and a rough number for Hesperia is 150 voluntary and 350 mandatory for a total of 500.” (see evacuation map)
The Hesperia evacuation area is from Santa Fe Avenue east to Lake Arrowhead Road and south of Ranchero Road. Some of those who are given the option to voluntarily evacuate are opting on the side of caution and leaving before the mandatory evacuations force them to leave without time to gather some belongings.
The Red Cross has set up evacuation centers at Oak Hills High School located at 7625 Cataba Rd, Oak Hills and at Rim of the World High School located at 27400 CA-18, Twin Peaks. Animals are not allowed at the Red Cross Evacuation Centers. Both small and large animals can go to theVictorville Fairgrounds located at 14800 Seventh Street in the City of Victorville. Small animals must be crated, as they will be housed in a building. Those with animals are urged to leave with time to spare in order to help keep animals calm.
Fire officials have received an outpouring of support through donations of bottled water, snacks, and warm greetings. A wife of a firefighter said that a good way to help is to donate to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation,” if you can’t afford to at the moment, just sharing it on your page and getting it more talked about is great,” she said.
A total of 842 personnel are battling the wildfire, the response includes 91 engines, 15 water tenders, 14 crews, 11 dozers, 8 helicopters, 8 air tankers, including the VLAT (air tanker) assigned.
No structures were damaged or destroyed as a result of the fire, USFS officials said. “There was one outbuilding reported burnt, but it was nowhere near the fire,” said USFS spokeswoman Rita Burkhalter Broadnax. “The fire reported was unrelated and suspected to be foul play.”
— SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) August 8, 2016
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