MORONGO BASIN — Two fires burned in Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree, Tuesday, injuring one man and forcing the evacuation of mobile home park residents.
Flames were reported on a property at Cibola and Yuma trails in Yucca Valley about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Battalion Chief Donny Viloria with San Bernardino County Fire said the fire started in one of the outbuildings in the back of the property. Firefighters were able to stop it from moving into the main home.
Four adults were living on the property, Viloria said. One of them, a 25-year-old man, suffered burns on his arms and was taken to Hi-Desert Medical Center.
“It was a pretty large fire that extended partially into an attached addition to the home,” Viloria said.
Nine firefighters from the downtown Yucca Valley, Yucca Mesa and Joshua Tree stations responded initially.
The county fire and sheriff’s departments and Yucca Valley’s code enforcement officer are all investigating the cause of the flames.
“There were some code enforcement issues associated with the property,” Viloria said. “A lot of it has to do with whether there’s not enough clearance or there might be too much extra stuff on the property.”
Crew finds two buildings on fire
The second fire was reported at 11 p.m. in the 61900 block of Commercial Street in Joshua Tree. An engine company from that community was first to arrive and found a property with four buildings, two of which were burning.
“They get on scene and they’re confronted with large flames from two structures,” Viloria said. “In those initial first seconds, no one knows what building is occupied or not.”
It turned out the structure with the heaviest fire was an abandoned home. Viloria said it was completely destroyed by flames.
The other burning building was a large barn and storage structure.
Next to the abandoned home was a residence whose occupants were at home. “That was of great concern to us,” Viloria said.
Immediately north of the property is a mobile home park, causing even more concern.
As the fire raged, the Sheriff’s Department evacuated some mobile home residents.
There was so much fire burning that crews used both hoses and deck guns — high-velocity water jets attached to the fire engines.
They were hampered by the electrical service drop line to the occupied house, which was compromised by fire.
“We couldn’t get under it and we couldn’t put fire hoses there, so we had to have our efforts on either side and there was a lot of cooperation between the engine companies to make that happen,” Viloria said.
“We had a lot of high-impact human momentum,” Viloria said. “If that fire had extended into the mobile home park, it would have been a bad, bad, bad show.”
It took about 30 minutes for firefighters to get the upper hand, he said. “Then there was an extensive mop up and overhaul.”
No one was hurt and the cause of the fire remains under investigation by the fire and sheriff’s departments.
“There was nothing that was readily apparent to what the cause was,” the chief said. “It was an abandoned structure, so we certainly have our suspicions.”