Cranston Fire

UPDATE Sunday 29th July 2018 at 1315

Highway 74 south from Lake Hemet (to Highway 371/Paradise café) is now open. It will remain closed from Lake Hemet to Mountain Center for the foreseeable future.

UPDATE Sunday 29th July 2018 at 1015

The evacuation order for Idyllwild-Pine Cove has been lifted in the last hour. Access is for residents with identification only, and only via Highway 243 from Banning.

This morning Idyllwild was much less smoke-filled than the previous two days, with an encouraging rise in humidity. There are still a couple of hotspots smoldering on the Idyllwild side of South Ridge just south of Tahquitz Peak, but nothing that is apparently cause for alarm. The Cranston Fire is at 13,130 acres and is 29% contained, according to InciWeb.

After an early morning hike, I checked around the fringes of town a little. Good news is that despite the fire burning around and through it, the transfer station is open already. I’m guessing it will fill up fast with the contents of fridges that were without power for a few days. Note that the transfer station is currently only accessible from above via Saunders Meadow Road, not via the shorter route from Hwy 243 (which is still closed just after Marian View Drive).

The persistent hotspots at the southern end of South Ridge – where May Valley Road comes off from Cowbell Alley – have been contained and there was no sign of smoke there.

The situation for hikers and recreation remains largely unchanged and is described at this link. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Long Valley hiking trails will reopen tomorrow, Monday 30th July, at 10am, according to the facebook page of the Tram.

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