We’re getting a lot of questions about the Lake Fire that sparked last week outside of Big Bear in the San Bernardino National Forest.
Beyond minimal smoke drift, Big Bear Frontier, surrounding residential areas and the Village at Big Bear, have remained unscathed by the Lake Fire. We are grateful for the many firefighters and volunteers dedicated to keeping the fire contained and away from our area. Fortunately, if you are visiting us this weekend or next, you cant still expect pristine water and inviting mountain views.
To help prevent similar wildfires, we have provided information about benefits and prevention tips, below!
Benefits of Forest Fires
Forest fires can be no doubt cause devastation. However, they can also produce natural benefits in the wake of their aftermath. Forest fires actually help renew soil and recycle nutrients.
Lodge Pole Pines
In fact, some trees, such as the lodge pole pine, aren’t able regenerate independently unless exposed to forest fires, and often sprout up in droves afterwards. Furthermore, lodge pole pines can house seeds for years before a wildfire’s force pries open its resin-sealed cones. Lodge pole pines’ seedlings also thrive in the carbon-laden post-fire soil.
Controlled Forest Fires
Ideally, small wildfires are set in a controlled area under the supervision of professionals, and can even help prevent large-scale blazes. Smaller forest fires can help burn through hindrances such as:
- dead leaves
- pine needles
- other debris lining the forest floor
Small fires renew areas for green growth to push through the soil, which reduces the risk of future or large scale wildfires such as the recent Lake Fire.
Tips for Preventing Forest Fires
There are things you can do to prevent wildfires and mitigate damage in case of a situation like the Lake Fire. Big Bear Frontier’s staff regularly prunes existing shrubbery and removes dead growth away from structures, and we are actively committed to weeding.
Since many fires start in areas of weeded overgrown brush, weeding is crucial. Also, keeping roofs and gutters clean is a practice that can help prevent fires from spreading across residential properties.
For more residental prevention tips, visit Firewise.org.
Fire Safety for Campers
Camping a popular activity among the Big Bear Lake area. After all, what’s better than a campfire surround by good friends and beautiful scenery? In our opinion, nothing. Unless, however, you aren’t practicing campfire safety.
Check Weather Conditions
First, you want to be aware of surrounding weather conditions such as a drought. You can redeem this information by reaching out to resources, such as
- The Department of Natural Resources
- Local Wildlife Ranger’s Office
- Campground or Property Management
Properly Make a Fire Pit
If you are camping and the area does not offer onsite fire pits, make your own by choosing an area that meets the following criteria:
- 10-15 foot circumference
- clear of debri
- No overhead branches or or flammable structures
Next, dig about a foot deep. Then, line your pit with rocks. Be sure to always keep a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies.
Extinguishing a Campfire
To extinguish your fire, remember, ‘BIG BEAR LOVES CAMPERS’ or ‘BBLC.’
- B – BURN your fuel down to ashes.
- B – BUCKET of water is the next step. Douse the fire completely.
- L – LISTEN for hissing noises. Don’t stop pouring water on your fire until it is quiet.
- C – COVER & COOL using a shovel. Then, stir dirt into the ashes, and cover completely. Finally, check to ensure the spot is completely cooled.
Now you’re fire safe.
Fire Updates & News Resources
When a forest fire is active in the area, being vigilant is most important. Stick to credible news outlets and local or federal government websites to get up-to-date information. San Bernardino County, like many communities, also offers text and phone alerts to subscribers detailing emergency information. You can also see updated pictures and time-lapse video of the mountains here.
Big Bear Frontier is focused on providing the best experience for all of our guests and we will continue to strive to do so, even in the event of a fire in the mountains. Currently no structures were damaged in the fire and with cooler temperatures and higher humidity returning this weekend, we’re confident an end is close in sight. We urge you to join us this weekend and let us show you just how relaxing (and fire free!) your weekend can be!