Brush Fire Scorches 10,500 Acres in Lake Hughes, Prompting Evacuations

Lake Fire In Southern California Grows Rapidly, Forcing Evacuations And Threatening Structures

A wildfire that broke out Wednesday afternoon has scorched more than 10,500 acres near the Lake Hughes area and is 0% contained as of Thursday morning.

The Lake Fire, located west of Palmdale, was reported at around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon near North Lake Hughes Road and Pine Canyon Road in the Angeles National Fores, according to Marvin Lim of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The rapid spread of the blaze prompted officials to issue mandatory evacuations for 100 structures in the area.

So far, the fire has remained entirely on federal land, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. More than 1,000 firefighters, along with three helicopters and 45 engines are on scene, battling the flames. Fire crews have been using water-dropping helicopters and other aircraft as part of the fight against the blaze overnight.

Mandatory evacuation orders are still in place as of Thursday morning. As of 7 a.m., three structures have been destroyed and 5,420 threatened, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. No injuries have been reported.

During a press conference Thursday morning, officials said a federal incident management team was mobilizing Thursday for involvement in the  multi-agency incident command structure, officials said at a 9 a.m. Thursday briefing.

“There have been areas of this fire that have not burned in decades, (and) it's in inaccessible terrain, which has added to the complexity of the fire,'' said Los Angeles County fire Chief Daryl Osby.

“We had firefighters fighting the fire all night, primarily with perimeter control,'' Osby said. He said that although some structures were lost, a number of structures were saved by firefighters.

Osby said “significant temperatures'' were expected later in the day, and he said that the firefighting effort would likely extend into next week.

“It's going to be a hot, dry summer -- and it's going to be a very, very hot, dry weekend,'' Osby said.

Lake Fire In Southern California Grows Rapidly, Forcing Evacuations And Threatening Structures

Displaced residents in the area can go to an evacuation center that was set up at Highland High School (39055 25th Street West) in Palmdale. However, social distancing and health restrictions will make this shelter a bit different than in years past.

“In this evacuation, unfortunately because of COVID protocols, a shelter is not actually established, people will have to stay in their cars,'' said Sgt. Ron Schaffer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

People staying in their cars at the center are allowed to have small animals with them.

A second shelter was opened Thursday morning at Castaic Sports Complex 31230 Castaic Rd.

People with animals who need to be boarded can take them to Castaic Animal Care Center, Lancaster Animal Care Center, Palmdale Animal Care Center and the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, according to the American Red Cross Los Angeles.

Several road closures were also issued for the area as fire crews work to get a handle on the blaze. San Francisquito Canyon Road was closed at Spunky Canyon Road, Pine Canyon Road at Three Points Road and Lake Hughes Road, Three Points Road at Highway 138, Old Ridge Route at Highway 138 and Lake Hughes Road at Ridge Route Road, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Photos: Getty Images

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