The San Bernardino County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue team found the body of a woman in landslide debris after a powerful rainstorm Monday, Sept. 12, in Forest Falls.
Search teams found Doris Jagiello, 62, of Forest Falls, dead under several feet of mud, rocks and debris. She had been missing since Tuesday.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department reported that Jagiellon’s home was hit by a large boulder in the mudslide, which swept away everything in its path.
A public safety exclusion zone remains in place for Prospect Road and Canyon Road in Forest Falls, according to a fire department news release. This allows work crews to safely remove remaining debris and large rocks blocking roads.
From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on September 21, county officials will be at the Yucaipa Community Center to provide residents of Oak Glen, Crestline and Forest Falls affected by severe flooding with information on how to get help. ‘assistance.
Original story 1 p.m. Friday: A weekend weather system could hamper Northern California firefighters’ efforts to battle the weeklong blaze that has become the state’s largest so far this year.
The system is expected to bring colder temperatures and precipitation — from 1/4 inch to more than 1 inch of multi-day precipitation — to the Mosquito Fire about 110 miles northeast of San Francisco.
But stronger winds are also expected to arrive in the region from Saturday, and the winds could throw up scorching embers and create spot fires despite the rain.
“It’s a bit of a mixed blessing here,” fire behavior analyst Jonathan Pangburn said Thursday.
The forecast came as firefighters again kept flames out of a mountain town and reported major progress on Thursday, just two days after the blaze came to life and burned structures near Foresthill. Ground crew built containment lines while water-dropping helicopters knocked down hot spots.
Conditions on the ground Thursday were “much better,” according to fire department spokesman Scott McLean.
“Looks really good on the west end where we had this dramatic increase in fires earlier this week,” McLean said. Flames swept up a drainage ditch in one neighborhood, but firefighters saved all homes.
Scientists say climate change has made the West hotter and drier over the past three decades and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive. Over the past five years, California has experienced the largest and most destructive wildfires in its history.
Evacuation orders remained for some 11,000 residents due to the unpredictable nature of the winds, McLean said, which typically blow in the direction of several canyons and could quickly spread flames if gusts increase.
The mosquito blaze was 20% contained after destroying at least 70 homes and other buildings. Full containment of the fire is expected to occur around October 15.
Wednesday’s 109 square mile blaze surpassed the size of the previous largest conflagration in 2022 – the McKinney Fire – although this season has seen a fraction of the year’s wildfire activity so far last.
In Southern California, dogs helped search for a missing person in a heavily damaged area of the San Bernardino Mountains where thunderstorms unleashed rocks, trees and dirt that swept away cars, buried homes and affected 3,000 residents of two remote communities. Nearly 2 inches of rain fell Monday at Yucaipa Ridge between Oak Glen, home to apple orchards that are a fall tourist destination, and Forest Falls, once a summer getaway for cabin owners that has become a dormitory community.
“This whole area is covered in up to 6 feet of mud, debris, large boulders,” said San Bernardino County Fire Chief Jim Topelski.
Mudslide damage in Oak Glen and Forest Falls served as a powerful warning to residents of the lingering damage wildfires can cause months or even years after the flames have died out and the smoke.
An intense amount of rain, even over a short period of time, can have catastrophic effects on hillsides where fire has stripped away the vegetation that once held the ground intact.
Also in Southern California, firefighters were close to completely encircling a deadly wildfire that erupted on September 5 and initially spread very quickly.
The Fairview Fire was burning about 75 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The 44-square-mile blaze was 94% contained Friday. Two people were killed trying to flee the blaze, which destroyed at least 35 homes and other structures in Riverside County.