San Bernardino County firefighters continued to fight a bushfire north of Rialto on Wednesday evening that destroyed structures and forced evacuations.
The southern blaze was burning near Sierra Avenue and Lytle Creek Road, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which responded to the blaze with San Bernardino County and National Forest firefighters of San Bernardino.
The blaze had burned at least 500 acres by Wednesday night and was 0% contained, state fire officials said. A firefighter was taken to hospital with a minor injury.
The growing blaze threatened at least 600 structures and prompted authorities to place 1,000 residents on mandatory evacuation orders, state fire officials said.
Firefighters were dispatched around 1:30 p.m. to a reported wildland fire near Sierra Avenue and Interstate 15, said Battalion Chief Mike McClintock, spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District .
“The fire quickly spread through the dry vegetation,” said McClintock.
Conditions remained dry and windy, he said. The dry fuel sources were contributing to the fire, which was burning at a “moderate to rapid rate.”
At least 12 structures were damaged or destroyed by the fire, McClintock said.
“We have over 500 firefighters here, over 50 engines, lots of air assets, bulldozers and crews,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough night for us. The most important thing we preach is to have a plan. Be ready, ready, go if we ask you to evacuate.
An information call center has been set up at (909) 383-5688, county firefighters said.
An evacuation center has been set up at Jessie Turner Health and Fitness Community Center, 15556 Summit Ave. in Fontana, county firefighters said. A large animal shelter has been set up at Devore Animal Shelter, 19777 Shelter Way in San Bernardino.
“Firefighters continue to work on structural defense and perimeter control,” officials said.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has ordered all residents in areas north of Lytle Creek Ranger Station on Lytle Creek Road to take shelter in place.
Evacuation orders are in place for all residents of Lytle Creek Road south of the Ranger Station, west of Sierra Avenue, north of Interstate 15, and east of Duncan Canyon to at the foothills, the sheriff’s department said.
Evacuation warnings are in place for areas north of Glen Helen Parkway, east of the intersection of Sierra Avenue and Lytle Creek Road and west of I-15, the department said. of the sheriff.
I-15 access and exit ramps have been closed in the area, officials said. Heavy traffic was reported and drivers were advised to take alternate routes to avoid closures.