By Nolan P. Smith
(Victor Valley)—The Blue Cut Fire, which started at 10:36 a.m. Tuesday morning on the Cajon Pass near Kenwood Avenue, has grown at a rapid pace throughout the day, now reaching 15,000 acres burned, according to Cal Fire. Governor Brown has declared a State of Emergency due to the most recent fire to wreck havoc on Southern California.
Structures have already been damaged and/or lost, including structures in Oak Hills, the McDonald’s off of the Cajon Pass, and the historic Summit Inn.
School closures have already been announced for districts across the Victor Valley for Wednesday, due to the air quality issues causes by the smoke. Districts include Apple Valley Unified School District, Adelanto Elementary School District , Barstow Unified School District, Hesperia Unified School District , Oro Grande School District, Snowline Joint Unified School District, and the Victor Valley Union High School District.
The fire comes on the same day that the Pilot Fire finally reached 100% containment. “It sucks we are in a constant worried mode of what to take and what to leave,” said Hesperia resident Phillip Gutierrez, “If the fire is going to change direction and if we are going to have enough time to leave.”
Road closures include Highway 138 from Interstate 15 to Highway 2, Old Cajon Blvd north of Devore Cutoff, Lytle Creek at Glen Helen, Hwy 38 to Lone Pine Canyon has been closed.
Interstate 15 Northbound at I-215 and the I-15 Southbound at Ranchero has been closed as well.
Evacuations have already been in place, leaving Victor Valley residents to head for safety. An estimated 34,500 homes and 82,640 people are being affected by the evacuation warnings. “We are getting all the evacuees at the hotels,” said local business owner Aashka Patel. “I am deeply saddened by seeing them in this state.”
Evacuation Centers include:
Jessie Turner Community Center
15556 Summit Avenue
Sultana High School
17311 Sultana St.
Hesperia, CA 92345
Animal Evacuation Centers include:
Apple Valley Animal Shelter (small animals)
22131 Powhatan Road
Apple Valley, CA 92308
San Bernardino County Fairgrounds
14800 7th Street
Victorville, CA 92395
Devore Animal Shelter (small animals)
19777 Shelter Valley
San Bernardino, CA
Victorville Fair Grounds (large animals)
14800 7th Ave.