A trendy smoke bomb used for a gender reveal photo op at El Dorado Park on Saturday was the cause of the most devastating fire the community has experienced. According to a source, the individuals responsible for the fire could face charges. Fire Investigators will forward it to the District Attorney’s office and the DA will decide what charges, if any, will be taken.

The El Dorado Fire started in Yucaipa around 10:20 a.m. As of Sept. 9, over 11,479 acres burned and the fire was 19% contained.

CAL FIRE investigator Capt. Bennet Milloy said, “The cause of the El Dorado Fire is tragic. However, we can learn from it. Each of us need to take extreme care in how we interact with the critically dry vegetation that surrounds our community and throughout forest lands. We each must do our part to clear around our homes to protect ourselves and the community.”

The fire season this year has been a busy one. The fire occurred about a month after the Apple Fire, which ultimately burned 33,424 acres. As of Sept. 9, approximately 14,000 firefighters are battling 28 major wildfires across California.

Beginning on Saturday, Sept. 5, hundreds of Mountain Home Village, Forest Falls and Yucaipa residents were evacuated from their homes.

Yucaipa Mayor David Avila was busy answering residents questions and concerns over the weekend at the Yucaipa Community Center, which served as the designated temporary evacuation center over the weekend. It moved to Redlands East Valley High School cafeteria on Monday evening, where it remains.

“Never before in the city’s history have we ever experienced such a devastating fire that threatened the homes and lives of hundreds of residents,” said Avila, who is a retired 32-year CAL FIRE Battalion Chief.

Firefighters worked all night on Monday, Sept. 7, to tie the Apple Fire scar to the El Dorado Fire, through a burnout operation, which involved the eastern fire perimeter. According to CAL FIRE, the overnight operation was a success. It greatly reduced the likelihood of a catastrophic fire due to the expected Santa Ana winds on Tuesday and Wednesday. Firefighters worked to clear vegetation and reinforce the fire line to prevent the fire from escaping and moving toward homes. A burnout was also completed around Mountain Home Village, on the north side of the fire.

Lenore Will lives in the North Bench area of Yucaipa. When the flames got close, she gathered a group of neighbors and went to work, protecting property.

“We and our group managed to help protect a few homes and properties,” said Will. “It was quite a busy day or two. We sympathize with all our neighbors who lost property, pets and belongings.”

For residents in the area, the public information hotline is 383-5688.

For updates on the El Dorado Fire, visit our website newsmirror.net.

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