Help From Above: Air Crews Battle Apple Fire


Rough terrain around the California wildfire limits the areas ground crews can access.

(KMIR/NBC News) The Apple Fire burning in the mountains of California’s Riverside and San Bernardino has burned tens of thousands of acres since it was sparked last week.  

It’s a terrain and wind driven fire, which means much of the effort to contain it comes from the air.

“It’s burning in an area that hasn’t burned in 100 years so it’s a lot of fuel and it’s just going to be very stubborn to fight,” says George Karcher, a Cal Fire forestry fire pilot.

He’s one of many fighting it from the sky. 

“Very inaccessible for the ground troops to get up there so it’s been mostly an airshow in the upper elevations,” says Karcher.

So far the fire has destroyed 12 structures, consumed nearly 30,000 acres, and left one firefighter injured.

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