Firefighters Reach 12% Containment On 11,637-Acre Lake Hughes Fire


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US-FIRE-CALIFORNIA-ENVIRONMENT

A blaze that has scorched 11,637 acres and destroyed three structures is 12% contained as of 2 p.m. Friday afternoon, authorities said.

“Fire will continue to grow and threaten the surrounding communities of Lake Hughes, Leona Valley, Lake Elizabeth, Pine Canyon, Quail Lake, Three Points, Historic Ridge Route and Inventoried Roadless Areas, fire officials said during a late-morning update. “Spotting and aggressive fire behavior will continue.''

This weekend's heat wave has made fighting the fire more complicated for fire crews on the scene. More than 1,500 firefighters, along with three helicopters, five water tenders, and 173 engines, are currently assigned to the fire. On Thursday, crews were able to catch up to the blaze thanks to slightly lower temperatures and moisture from former hurricane Elida moving across the area, the department said.

“Current objectives include keeping the fire north of Castaic Lake, south of Highway 138, east of Red Rock Mountain and west of Tule Ridge,'' the department said.

The fire was first reported at around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon near North Lake Hughes Road and Pine Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest.

Fire crews from the U.S. Forest Service were joined by crews with the Los Angeles County Fire Department and assistance from the Los Angeles, Culver City, Beverly Hills, Monterey Park, Long Beach and Santa Monica fire departments.

Another 5,420 structures are listed as being threatened by the Lake Fire. So far, no injuries have been reported. While some structures were lost, a number of other structures were saved by firefighters. Further damage assessments of the area are still being conducted.

“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 Department Chief Daryl Osby.

The fire has remained entirely on federal land, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

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

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in the area east of Ridge Route Road, west of Lake Hughes Road, north of Pine Canyon Road and Lake Hughes Road, and south of state Route 138. Evacuation centers have been established at two locations:

  • Highland High School (39055 25th St. West Palmdale, CA 93551)
  • Castaic Sports Complex (31230 Castaic Road, Castaic, CA 91384)
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TOPSHOT-US-FIRE-CALIFORNIA-ENVIRONMENT

“In this evacuation, unfortunately because of COVID protocols, a shelter is not actually established, people will have to stay in their cars,'' Shaffer said earlier. People staying in their cars at a center are allowed to have small animals with them.

For those who need to board animals, people can go 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 roads were closed in the area as fire crews worked to get a handle on the blaze. San Francisquito Canyon Road was closed from Stater Lane to Spunky Canyon Thursday evening, as well as Three Points Road from State Route 138 to Pine Canyon.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Photo: Getty Images

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