Firefighters Digging Perimeter Around 17,300-Acre Lake Fire, Estimated Cost at $5 Million

Nearly 2,000 firefighters have been fighting the fire, burning on mountainsides and valleys in a national forest

The wildfire blazing for four days in a Southern California national forest has already cost $5 million and is only 21 percent contained, officials said.

Firefighting crews working in very high temperatures have dug in along a closed-off stretch of Highway 38 in San Bernardino National Forest, where the fire was burning timber across more than 27 square miles, according to the emergency management team handling what's being called the Lake Fire.

The fire stretches from Highway 38 to the San Gorgonio Wilderness's high peaks, and from the Pacific Crest Trail west toward Angelus Oaks, said Sunday's official update, which noted that the fire's perimeter seemed to be burning slowly or at low-intensity in areas including Anderson Peak and Hell For Sure Canyon.

Just under 2,000 firefighting personnel have been called in to fight the fire, which flared up Wednesday in the Barton Flats area, not far from the resort town of Big Bear. They would continue to work in a heat advisory until 7 p.m. Sunday, officials said.

Five hundred structures remained threatened by the wildfire Sunday night. This fire is being spread by heavy fuels and steep slopes.

Smoke from the fire has been seen at the Grand Canyon, and smoke continued to impact the area nearby, sullying air quality, officials said.

The U.S. Forest Service was coordinating with Cal Fire and the San Bernardino County Fire and Sheriff's departments in managing the fire.

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