UPDATE #8 “Bogart” fire declared arson, now at 1,000 acres, 10% Contained

UPDATE #8 8/30/16 9:45 p.m.

A line of fire fighters moves deeper into a canyon towards the growing fire. Robert Carter photo

A line of fire fighters moves deeper into a canyon towards the growing fire. Robert Carter photo

The Bogart fire – which is now considered to be “human-caused” – has burned an estimated 1,000 acres and is about 10% contained, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Spokeswoman April Newman.

In a potential sign of the direction of their investigation – and belief the cause of the fire was possibly related to juvenile activity – in a previous release, Newman wrote, “Anyone with information witnessing or have knowledge of juvenile activity near the north end of Winesap Avenue near the entrance gate to Bogart Park in Beaumont around 12:30 p.m. this afternoon…is urged to call the Arson Hotline at (800) 633-2836. All calls are anonymous.”

At least two firefighters have reportedly been inured battling the blaze. The nature of their injuries has not been released but their injuries were described by Newman as “mild.”

One out-building was lost to the fire.

Although evacuations for the Banning Bench area were not expected to be lifted until 10 p.m., the evacuation was lifted at 8:45 p.m. Residents have been advised they can return with valid ID. Evacuations for the Highland Springs Mobile Home Park were lifted as of 8 p.m.

Among those evacuated were all 10 senior citizens from Cherry Valley Lodge, a room-and-board assisted-living care facility just east of the Bogart Park and near one of the evacuated mobile home parks.

Fire was burning everywhere you tured in many areas. Robert Carter photo

Fire was burning everywhere you tured in many areas. Robert Carter photo

In spite of having some residents who are wheelchair-bound or needing to use walkers, it reportedly only took about 30 minutes to get everyone out of the facility to be shuttled to the nearby evacuation center.

With the mandatory evacuations lifted, the evacuation center at the Albert A. Chatigny Senior Center, 1310 Oak Valley Parkway in Beaumont will close at 10:00 p.m.

The large animal shelter located at Noble Creek Park, 390 Oak Valley Parkway in Beaumont has already closed and the small animal shelter at 660 Orange Avenue in Beaumont will close tomorrow morning after the last of the remaining animals are picked up by their owners.

In the final press release for the evening, Newman wrote, “Unless there is significant activity, the next update will be posted tomorrow morning after morning briefing at 7 a.m.”

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UPDATE #7 08/30/2016 7 p.m.

Red fire retardent covered everything after a drop from a Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT). Robert Carter photo

Red fire retardent covered everything after a drop from a Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT). Robert Carter photo

In an update provided at 6:45 p.m. Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Spokeswoman April Newman wrote, “Cal Fire Investigators have determined the fire to be human-caused.”

Newman continued, “Anyone with information witnessing or have knowledge of juvenile activity near the north end of Winesap Avenue near the entrance gate to Bogart Park in Beaumont around 12:30 p.m. this afternoon…is urged to call the Arson Hotline at (800) 633-2836. All calls are anonymous.”

Additionally, Newman updated that a second person was injured as a result of the fire, in addition to the previously reported firefighter who was injured.

 

UPDATE 08/30/2016 6:20 p.m.

Fire was burning everywhere you tured in many areas. Robert Carter photo

Fire was burning everywhere you tured in many areas. Robert Carter photo

The Bogart fire continues to spread at an alarming rate, in spite of more than 400 firefighters from countless agencies flooding into the area to assist with the swiftly moving blaze.

“The fire is now approximately 700 acres and 5% contained,” Newman wrote in an update at 5:30 p.m. “CAL FIRE is in Unified Command with the USFS.”

As of 3:02 p.m., 410 firefighters from 46 engine companies, 11 Fire Crews, five helicopters, nine air tankers, four water tenders, four bulldozers, and a helitender were on scene. “Additional ground and air resources have been requested,” according to Newman. A fire investigator is also assisting on scene.

Agencies now involved in battling the blaze or assisting with evacuations and road closures include the Riverside County Fire Emergency Management Department, Cal Fire/Riverside, Cal Fire/San Bernardino, BDU/CAL FIRE, March ARB, Morongo Fire Department, Hemet Fire Department, City of Banning, City of Beaumont, the U.S. Forestry Service – San Bernardino, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, CHP, Banning PD, Beaumont PD, the Office of Emergency Services, and American Medical Response.

A CDF fixed wing aircraft sits at the ready for it's next flight. Randall Nilson photo

A CDF fixed wing aircraft being refueled as it sits at the ready for it’s next flight. Randall Nilson photo

Evacuation Orders remain in effect for the Banning Bench and the Highland Springs RV Park and an evacuation Center has been established at the Albert A. Chatigny Senior Community Center (Beaumont Senior Center) located at 1310 Oak Valley Parkway in Beaumont.

For those with animals, a large Animal Shelter is located at Noble Creek Park, at 390 Oak Valley Parkway in Beaumont. A small animal shelter is located across the street from the address at 660 Orange Avenue in Beaumont.

The American Red Cross has been called in to help with those displaced by the fire and evacuations.

One firefighter was transported to an area hospital for a non-life threatening injury. The nature of the injury was not specified.

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UPDATE #5: 08/30/2016 4:15 p.m.

In the most recent update provided by Newman, she advised “The fire is now 500 acres and 0% contained.”

About 700 people have been displaced and about 200 homes have been evacuated, according to Newman. One out-building has been destroyed.

Additionally, one firefighter was transported to an area hospital for a non-life threatening injury. The nature of the injury was not specified.

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UPDATE #4: 08/30/2016 3:51 p.m. – The Bogart fire continues to grow rapidly and out of control, in spite of hundreds of firefighters from multiple agencies flooding into the area to assist with the swiftly moving blaze.

Agencies now involved in battling the blaze include the Cal Fire/Riverside, Cal Fire/San Bernardino, March ARB, Morongo Fire Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, and the U.S. Forestry Service – San Bernardino.

“The fire is now 400 acres and 0% contained,” Newman wrote in an update at 3:02 p.m. The fire is continuing to grow “at a rapid rate of spread.”

The American Red Cross has been called in to help with those displaced by the fire and evacuations.

 

Smoke fills the air as the fire grows "at a rapid rate of spread."

Smoke fills the air as the fire grows “at a rapid rate of spread.” Robert Carter photo

UPDATE #3: 08/30/2016 3:25 p.m. – The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has implemented evacuation orders for all residences on the Banning Bench.

An evacuation Center has been established at the Albert A. Chatigny Senior Community Center (Beaumont Senior Center) located at 1310 Oak Valley Parkway in Beaumont. Highland Springs Village Mobile Home Park located at 10350 Overland Trail in Cherry Valley is being evacuated by Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

 

UPDATED STORY 3:02 p.m.

The "Bogart" fire had reached 400 acres within 2 hours in spite of nearly 400 firefighters on scene battling the blaze.

The “Bogart” fire had reached 400 acres within 2 hours in spite of nearly 400 firefighters on scene battling the blaze. Robert Carter photo

CHERRY VALLEY – High heat and moderate winds are helping to spread a fast-moving and quickly spreading fire that began in the area of Winesap Avenue and International Park Road in Cherry Valley today, Aug 30. The fire, that was first reported at 12:15 p.m. is now forcing the mandatory evacuation of a convalescent home and several mobile home parks in the area.

“Cal Fire Riverside County Firefighters with the assistance on Cal Fire San Bernardino Firefighters are on scene of a vegetation fire,” Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Spokeswoman April Newman updated at 1:13 p.m. “The fire is now 15 acres in size and burning at a rapid rate of spread.”

As of 3:02 p.m., 321 firefighters from 22 engine companies, 11 Fire Crews, five helicopters, nine air tankers, two water tender, two bulldozers, and a helitender. “Additional ground and air resources have been requested,” according to Newman. A fire investigator is also assisting on scene.

Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies, and Banning, Beaumont, and California Highway Patrol officers are on scene assisting with evacuation orders and road closures. At least one law enforcement command center has been set up at an undisclosed location to assist with coordinating the evacuations and road closures.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 10 (soon to be 12) grandchildren.

 

 

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