PIONEERTOWN, Calif.-Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the two small towns of Burns Canyon, Calif. and Rim Rock, Calif., due to flare-ups in the Lake Fire burning in the San Bernardino National Forest.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department issued the alert shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday reporting the fire had shifted in the direction of the Morongo Basin area.
The fire is approximately 11 miles from Pioneertown, 9 miles from Morongo Valley and 6 miles from Big Bear.
Pioneertown is under a voluntary evacuation ordered as of midnight Thursday. Sheriff personnel were assisting with the evacuations in Burns Canyon and Rim Rock, which included transportation of livestock. Animal control was being called in to help with transporting domestic animals for residents who needed assistance.
A shelter for evacuees has been opened at Copper Mountain College.
The fire has grown to 20,875 acres with only 27 percent contained. Over 500 structures are being threatened, but none have been damaged by the fire.
On Tuesday, the incident command unit had reported firefighters were gaining some control on the fire, but with strong winds and hot temperatures the fire moved in the southern direction of the Hi-Desert communities.
SBCFD reported the fire continues to burn in steep and rocky terrain, with minor growth downhill which is hitting areas of unburned trees and grass causing the area to ignited and burn in a downward slope.
Late Tuesday night 360 campers in the Camp Oakes area were evacuated as a precaution as the fire continued to grow in size. Evacuations remain in effect for areas along Highway 38 east of Angelus Oaks to Onyx Summit, Barton Flats, Seven Oaks, South Fork, Heart Bar and Rainbow Lane.
Highway 38 will remain closed to the public due to low visibility and continued fire fighting operations.
According to an update on the incident command site, four firefighters have been injured and nearly 2,000 fire personnel are battling the blaze.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation and the cost of the fire is an estimated $11. 5 million.
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