Pilot Fire 70 Percent Contained

The so-called Pilot Fire that scorched 7,899 acres since it ignited Sunday was 70 percent contained Thursday morning, fire officials said.  

The wind-driven fire burned chaparral and brush in between Pilot Rock Ridge and State Highway 173 in Hesperia.

The 12-square-mile blaze forced the closure of Apple Valley and Oro Grande school districts due to poor and smoky air quality.

The Hesperia Unified School District closed its schools Tuesday due to deteriorating air conditions.

On Thursday, Hesperia and Oro Grande School Districts planned to resume classes following the schools' normal schedules. Apple Valley Unified School district planned to reopen Thursday also, but on a "Student Early Release Day Schedule," before returning to their normal schedule Friday. 

Fire officials ordered the mandatory evacuations of Deer Lodge Park, Aleutian Drive, Klondike Drive, Evergreen Lane and Yukon Drive.

Voluntary evacuations for Hesperia, Apple Valley, and Summit Valley were lifted Thursday, which included road closures located in those areas also, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Evacuation centers have been set up in Oak Hills High School and Rim of the World High School. 

Animals that had been taken to the San Bernardino County Fair Grounds for shelter were transported to Devore animal shelter if they had not been picked up by Wednesday. 

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