What a Mountain Fall!

Photo courtesy of Redlands Daily Facts.

Photo courtesy of Redlands Daily Facts.

Salvador Martinez, Photojournalist

A landslide the approximately the size of  three football fields in the San Bernardino County mountains was putting several homes in danger, a fire station and a major road used by hundreds of residents in the area, fire officials stated. Four homes and a San Bernardino County fire station in the unincorporated community of Forest Falls were right in the way of the hillside, which started moving around 10 a.m-10 :30 a.m last Thursday, the fire department said.


Two homes were vacant, and residents in the other two homes have voluntarily decided to evacuate to stay safe. James Wright, one of three local ministers in San Bernardino, and his wife, Michelle, said it sounded like a huge freight train when the side of mountain started to move. The couple, who have been living in Forest Falls since last October, were filling sandbags to protect their home from the winter disaster when the landslide decided the begin to take place. Fire officials have removed equipment from the station to protect it from damage due to the landslide. The landslide was calculated about 300 yards wide and extends 1,000 feet from top to bottom in the Slide Canyon Region area, according to the authorities. Almost like a glacier, pieces of the hillside have been slowly breaking off  and dropping into a drainage below, which began causing major problems for residents in the area.


If the hillside begin to travel downward, it will spill onto the road of Valley Of The Falls Drive — a major road for residents living in the area. The blockage could hold about 200 of residents for several days and they would have nowhere to go. The San Bernardino County road construction staff were placing concrete barriers and other blocking materials along the road to help divert mud and debris. Meanwhile, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department issued a reverse 911 call Thursday evening to residents in the area, warning them of the landslide.


Forest Falls has had its share of natural disasters. In September 2015, a couple reportedly on their first date, they were trapped in the flash flood in Forest Falls. The body of Brett Alan Usher, 25, of Rancho Cucamonga was later recovered from Mill Creek Wash. In July 1999, after heavy rains, fast speed avalanche killed a woman and destroyed several homes. And in 1969, floods tore out a bridge and the town was cut off for about 10 days. Sophie Chen (10) says, “Wow! I’ve been in a very similar situation in Taiwan, last summer, it was scary .”