Second wildfire erupts near San Bernardino, grows to 100 acres

A fast-moving wildfire burned 100 acres Thursday evening in the foothills above the city of San Bernardino, about 12 miles from where firefighters were battling the largest forestland fire this year.

The Sterling fire was reported about 6:30 p.m. in the hills above Sterling Avenue, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Several structures are threatened but officials could not provide an accurate estimate.

To battle the flames, Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service diverted crews, including 22 engines and air tankers, from the nearby Lake fire, according to the forest agency. The San Bernardino Fire Department also responded to the blaze.

As of 9:15 p.m., the fire was 20% contained.

As in the Lake fire, a drone temporarily forced officials to ground aircraft over the fire, but air tankers resumed flying about 8 p.m., officials said.

Miles away, nearly 1,900 firefighters and ground crews were deployed to battle the Lake fire, which has grown to 25,599 acres and continued spreading north toward Heartbreak Ridge, forcing officials to downgrade the containment to 19%, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Mandatory evacuations remain in place for residents of Burns Canyon, Rimrock, Barton Flats, Seven Oaks, Ranbow Lane and Heart Bar, with a voluntary evacuation for those in Pioneertown. Residents in Lake Williams, Erwin Lake, and Baldwin Lake have been warned of possible evacuation orders, fire officials said.

The estimated cost of battling the Lake fire has swelled to more than $17 million, officials said.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

9:15 p.m.: This story was updated with the fire growing to 100 acres with 20% containment.

This story was originally published at 9:02 p.m.

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