Firefighters Hold Wildfire Near Snow Summit Resort to 100 Acres

At least 400 homes remain threatened as crews increase containment of the fire burning near Snow Summit resort in Big Bear Lake

Hundreds of residents were allowed to return to their homes Monday afternoon after a wildfire that burned through 100 acres near a popular ski resort in the San Bernardino Mountains forced evacuations a day earlier.

"It's a good feeling. It's back to reality and everything is going to be OK," resident Nikki Carson said. "They've got it under control, so thank you, firefighters."

At least 400 homes, many of them cabins and vacation houses, were threatened as crews increased containment of the fire burning near Snow Summit resort in Big Bear Lake, about 100 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Water cannons usually used for making snow were used to spray down ski slopes and keep burning embers from igniting dry brush on the resort property.

The resort can draw from Big Bear Lake as part of its operating permit and use that water for fire suppression.

The fire, burning in rugged terrain among standing dead trees, blackened 100 acres and was 50 percent contained Monday.

The resort was open for mountain biking and scenic ski-lift rides before closing for the fire that broke out Sunday afternoon. About 1,000 visitors were at Snow Summit when the fire started, according to resort officials.

All schools in the Bear Valley Unified School District will be closed again Tuesday with the exception of Fallsvale School, which was not affected by the air quality, district officials said.

Four years of drought have contributed to an active wildfire season in California, where more than 4,500 fires have been reported since the start of the year, according to CalFire. The agency reported 3,173 fires during that same period last year.

The state's five-year average for that timeframe is about 3,000 fires.

Tony Shin contributed to this report.

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