Lake fire in San Bernardino National Forest is 60% contained

A weekend rainstorm and calmer winds have helped firefighters gain better control over a wildfire that has been burning in the San Bernardino National Forest for weeks, officials said Monday.

The Lake fire, which started June 17 south of Highway 38, was 60% contained Monday morning, a three-fold improvement on how much control crews had over the blaze just Friday night.

Firefighters saw up to a 10th of an inch of rain and cooler temperatures, which helped slow the fire’s growth to fewer than 1,000 acres over the weekend. The fire has now burned 30,726 acres, or about 48-square-miles of forest.

More than 2,200 state, local and federal firefighting crews are helping in the effort, which has cost an estimated $30 million to fight so far, the U.S. Forest Service said. Four firefighters have been injured and four buildings destroyed.

Several mandatory evacuations that had been in place since the fire’s first days have been lifted, allowing residents to return. Recreational activities in that area of the forest, including camping and hiking, remain closed, officials said.

But crews may not be out of the woods yet, so to speak.

The National Weather Service warned there’s a chance of thunderstorms and dry-lightning strikes across the region Monday, though it will subside later in the week.

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