new fire2BIG BEAR, Calif.-The Lake Fire, located in the eastern San Bernardino Mountains near the San Gorgonio Wilderness, continues to scorch through the drough-ridden mountains near Big Bear, California.

According to the San Bernardino County Fire Department Incident Command Center the wildfire is burning in dense old-growth timber on steep slopes and as of Friday night has consumed 13,000 acres with only 10 percent containment.

There are close to 1,400 fire personnel battling the blaze and an estimated cost so far is nearing the million dollar mark.

On Friday, the fire moved to the east into the Heart Bar drainage and also south to 10,000 Foot Ridge in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. Firefighters conducted a burn-out operation along Highway 38. The slow-moving fire gently backed down to the highway to the burned-out area in a controlled manner creating a wide, unburnable buffer for Highway 38, reported SBCFD.

Highway 38 remains closed from Angelus Oaks to Lake Williams as well as Jenks Lake Road. Evacuations continue for the areas east of Angelus Oaks, which include Barton Flats, Seven Oaks, Rainbow Lane, Heart Bar, and all cabins and campgrounds in the South Fork area. All hiking trails into the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area have been closed due to the proximity of the fire to them. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is closed from Whitewater Preserve to Onyx Summit.

The American Red Cross has a standby location to address any future sheltering or evacuation center needs.

Smokey haze continues to cover the river communities and residents are urged to use precautions when outside in the air.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

(Photos courtesy of SBCFD)

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