Fire Near Lake Hughes 87% Contained, 31,089 Acres Scorched

LAKE HUGHES (CNS) - A wildfire burning near Lake Hughes was 87% contained this morning and firefighters kept the flames from spreading beyond the 31,089 acres already burned, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

The Lake Fire “has been burning in 100-year-old fuels consisting of Big Cone Douglas Fir, Oak, and Gray Pine,” according to a U.S. Forest Service statement. “The fire is holding northeast of Interstate 5 and south of Highway 138 in steep and rugged terrain.”

“The Lake Fire continues to be quiet these last few days, not a lot of activity on the fire,” Section Chief Jeff Hinson with South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management said Friday night.

Fire officials said Saturday that as the weather becomes hotter and drier, firefighters will continue to patrol the fire perimeter, mitigate any hot spots and “ensure no threat of escape.”

“Firefighters are also removing unneeded suppression equipment from the fire area and have already removed approximately 50,000 feet of hose,” according to the Forest Service. “Other equipment such as brass hose fittings, portable tanks (and) water pumps have been removed as well.”

Flames from the Lake Fire have destroyed 12 structures and 21 outbuildings and damaged six other structures since it erupted about 3:30 p.m. Aug. 12 near Lake Hughes Road and Pine Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest.

ANF fire crews have been battling the blaze with the Los Angeles County Fire Department and assistance from other agencies including the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol.

The campground at the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area reopened Friday after being closed due to the fire. While the campground has reopened, the Lagoon Launch Ramp, Swim Beach and the West Ramp remained closed. The Main Ramp is scheduled to reopen today.

About 520 firefighters were working to contain the fire Saturday, down from about 700 on Thursday. Full containment of the fire is expected on Sept. 12.

Four firefighters were injured battling the blaze, but details were not released.

The cause of the Lake Fire remained under investigation.

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