Your Town Your Neighbors Your Newspaper PHELAN • PINON HILLS • WRIGHTWOOD • WEST CAJON VALLEY
Sheep Fire in Wrightwood explodes to 990 acres with entire town under evacuation warning & ‘power and cell service down’
Saturday, June 11, 2022
Fire broke out at 6:23 p.m. north of HWY 2 at Sheep above the Sheep Creek wash. 15 fire trucks, water dropping two helicopter and numerous fire fighters on the scene. As of 9:00 p.m. fire spread to 30 acres. 8:30 p.m., the U.S. Forest Service said. No structures in danger. No evacuation orders at this time. The cause of the fire remains under investigation Information on the cause of the fire was not immediately available. Cal Fire and the San Bernardino County Fire Department worked with Angeles National Forest crews on the fire fight. Highway 2, Angeles Crest Highway, was closed by the fire in both directions between Wright Mountain Road and Highway 138, Caltrans said. As of Monday, June 13 the fire explosed to over 900 acres.
All of Wrightwood is now under an evacuation warning.
The suspicious vegetation fire moved quickly up the mountain side igniting arid trees and shrubs. Flames jumped tree to tree leaping over 50 high.
As of 8:30 p.m., the fire had spread to 20 acres., the U.S. Forest Service said. No structures were in any danger. Three firetrucks were stationed in the Whispering Pines trailer home park to watch over the mobile home park.
By 9:00 p.m., the blaze scorched bone-dry brush of nearly 35 acres, and officials say it has the potential to grow. The fire is zero percent contained.
CalTrans closes Highway 2, Angeles Crest Highway, in both directions between Wright Mountain Road and Highway 138,
Crews were working in heat that initially was in the mid-80s but fell by 10 p.m. to 73º, weather records showed.
Units from the San Bernardino fire department, Cal Fire, and Angeles National Forest, plus hand crews from Texas Hotshots and air support, continue to stay on the scene late into the night.
At 10:30 p.m., the fire advanced eastward to 1.3 miles near Desert Front Road and from the nearest structures.
Night-flying operations were ongoing most of the night.
An update at 11:00 the fire is burning away from Wrightwood. There is 0% containment at this time.
Saturday, June 12, no evacuation orders are in place. By 8:00 a.m., helicopters return to assisting firefighting efforts along Hwy 2 near Desert Front road. Fire is 5% containment; however, the fire has become more active.
At 9:30 a.m fixed-wing tanker arrived, dropping a load of Phos-Chek, bright-red flumes of fire retardant, onto the land near the hotspot crew, creating a line of defense.
A High Wind Advisory for the high desert was issued. Winds blowing around 30-40 mph with max wind gust at 40 mph.
10:30 a.m. Angeles National Forest fire staff remain on the scene. San Bernardino County Fire and CalFire BDU have left the scene, and a new crew was on its way. The fire appeared to be less of a danger for Wrightwood. Small flames and smoke alone on the hillside were visible from the roadside. The wind had died down.
2:30 fire is now at approximately 150 acres, and Highway 2 remains closed.
3:00 p.m., the wind gust returned, and the fire advanced up the steep terrain. Assistance was requested, and the various fire departments returned.
4:10 p.m., the size of the Sheep Fire is now approximately 774 acres.
Evacuation orders were placed for the Wildhorse Canyon area, east of Desert Front Road, to Highway 138. Law enforcement is going door-to-door with a mandatory evacuation for Desert Front Road and Wild Horse Canyon.
San Bernardino Co Animal Care & Control, small animals, and livestock are at the Devore Animal Shelter. A warning evacuation for Wrightwood is in place. Red Cross set up Serrano High School as an evacuation center.
The San Bernardino County Fairgrounds (Victorville) opened at 11 p.m. (Sunday, June 12, 2022) for large animals.
Monday, June 13, Firefighters had success working on containment lines, mop-up, and perimeter control in the Sheep Fire, San Bernardino County Fire Department reported. The department reported that favorable wind conditions allowed airplanes and helicopters to fight the fire from the air. On the ground, 300 firefighters successfully increased containment to 27%. Crews continue to work through the night to increase containment and work hot spots.
As of 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 12, 2022, the fire is estimated at 990 acres. Fighting this fire has been especially challenging due to dense vegetation, steep terrain, and high and erratic winds. Dozers plowed a path between firefighters and the fire. San Bernardino County Fire Department reported the containment of the Sheep Fire has grown from 5% to 18%.
"Good progress overnight on containment lines, mop-up & hot spots. Cooler temperatures & favorable wind conditions allowing ground/air resources to make great progress," the department tweeted late Monday afternoon.
Monday, June 13, evacuation warning is lifted for Wrightwood. Wildhorse Canyon remains under evacuation. A total of 300 people were evacuated. Power has been restored but cell services continue to be down.
Tuesday, June 14, Highway 2 remains closed. The Village still does not have full service of cell phones and the internet. UIA reports that they have scheduled their equipment to go online Monday. Edison is replacing the burnt polls along Highway 1. Verizon has a portable phone station for cell connection at the hardware store only. Containment of the Sheep Fire reached 28%.
Lone Pine Canyon Road is open from Highway 138 to Wrightwood. The Fire Department is expected to open Highway 2 on Thursday as long as there are no more flare-ups. Food delivery trucks were allowed to enter Highway 2. Spotters continue to fly over Wrightwood giving command units details on the fire progression. Helicopters continue to drop water in the few hot spots on the mountain ridge. Firefighters had great success today working on containment lines, mop-up, and perimeter control. More favorable wind conditions allowed fixed-wing and rotor aircraft to extensively work from the air.
The update in acreage is due to recent infrared mapping capabilities.
During the three days, 673 firefighters, and personnel from the Angeles National Forest, San Bernardino County Fire, CAL FIRE, and the Bureau of Land Management, battled the blaze. The fire is being co-managed by unified command: Angeles National Forest, San Bernardino County Fire, and CAL FIRE BDU. They will remain on site until likely early morning on June 15.
Wednesday, July 15 the Sheep Fire containment reached 50% marker.
Information on the cause of the fire was not immediately available. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Line of fire vehicles at the intersection of HWY 2 and Sheep Creek Road.
Fire remains on the northside away from homes in the Village, traveling north east in undeveloped area..
Residents make their way down Sheep Creek Road at the Wrightwood Welcome sign, watching the fast moving fire on the north side of the wash.
There is a mandatory evacuation order in place for residents living in the northern area of Wrightwood. The evacuation order is for Highway 2 in the Wild Horse canyon area at Mesquite St. from Hwy138 to Sand Canyon.