Apple Fire Information

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August 4, 2020

Evacuation orders for the City of Banning have been lifted

Bench residents and residents North of Wilson, between Sunset and Hathaway may return. Thank you all for your patience and cooperation!

August 3, 2020
Media contact:
Riverside County Joint Information Center
Public contact: 2-1-1

Health officials warn about impact of smoke from Apple Fire

One coronavirus testing site moves due to proximity to fire

Riverside County SealA wildfire that is burning near Banning is generating smoke and ash that is impacting the San Gorgonio Pass and communities in and around the San Jacinto Mountains, prompting health officials to urge residents to take precautions with the unhealthy air quality levels.

“Residents throughout portions of the San Gorgonio Pass, particularly those living or working near the fire, need to be aware of the risks of breathing unhealthy air and take steps to keep safe,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer.

Kaiser recommends that those who live in areas impacted by smoke and ash should avoid strenuous activity, remain indoors with the air-conditioning on and windows and doors closed. Also, keep the indoor air fresh with a clean filtering system to prevent from bringing smoke inside.

Wildfire smoke can cause a range of health issues, which include burning eyes, runny nose, shortness of breath, scratchy throat, headaches and chest pains. Smoke can also worsen chronic heart and lung disease.

Officials also stress the importance of following evacuation instructions for the safety of all residents living in the evacuation areas. Safety steps have been taken to protect residents and workers at the reception and care site located at Beaumont High School.

“We have taken a number of precautions to ensure everyone is safe while they are evacuated,” said Bruce Barton, director of the County of Riverside Emergency Management Department. “In addition to sheltering away from smoke, we implemented expanded precautions to ensure evacuated residents are protected from COVID with screening, physical distancing, sanitation stations and a number of other safety measures.”

Meanwhile, the state-operated coronavirus testing site at the Noble Creek Community Center in Beaumont has been closed because of the Apple Fire and will open at the Beaumont Women’s Club, 306 E. 6th Street. The move is effective immediately and will be in place until further notice.

Those with existing appointments will be notified about the change.

The hours of operation remain the same – 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To make an appointment at the Beaumont location, call 888-634-1123 or click online


August 1, 2020

doug schulzeThe #AppleFire continues to burn and has encompassed over 12,000 acres. Incident Command is under the control of Riverside County Emergency Management Department. Under the Incident Command System, there is one, and only one, Incident Commander. As such, the City of Banning must work with and through Riverside County Emergency Management Department Incident Command. Actions taken independent of Incident Command will not be eligible for reimbursement. When the evacuation order was issued today for residents in a portion of Banning, many questioned why Banning High School was not opened as an evacuation point. This call was made by Incident Command and a second location was not opened because Beaumont High School had capacity to handle the evacuees and additional resources were not needed for a second evacuation point. Residents who have been evacuated and do not have a safe shelter should go to Beaumont High School and request assistance. Hotel vouchers are being provided to those who have been evacuated and have no option for short term housing.

City of Banning Officials are monitoring the situation and in constant communication with the Incident Command Post. For information about the Apple Fire go to:

Doug Schulze
City Manager