A wildfire sparked at the Angeles National Forest in California at around 22:38 UTC (15:38 LT) on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, has spread to 4 450 ha (11 000 acres) by 22:45 UTC on August 13 and is only 5 percent contained.
The fire is located near Lake Hughes Road just north of Warm Springs. Several structures are threatened and mandatory evacuations are in place. Currently, 1 159 personnel from the Angeles National Forest, LA County, and other cooperating agencies are working together to battle this fire.
Some areas in the affected zone are catching fire for the first time since 1968.
"It's pretty explosive fire behavior. It's typically what we see a little bit later in the season and often driven by wind," said Angeles National Forest Fire Chief Robert Garcia.
"The fuel, moisture conditions, and the fire at this particular location with the slope, it really created the recipe for rapid-fire growth."
The fire started Wednesday afternoon at Lake Hughes in Angeles National Forest between Santa Clarita and Palmdale. It has prompted evacuation orders and road closures in the area.
Around 23:00 UTC (16:00 LT) on August 12, just about 22 minutes after the fire started, roughly 20 ha (50 acres) of land has already been scorched.
8/12 9:00 pm #LakeFire Update— LACoFD (@LACOFD) August 13, 2020
The #LakeFire is currently at 10,000 acres w/0% containment & mandatory evacs in place.
For IC updates, follow @Angeles_NF & @LACoFDPIO.
For evac info, follow @LASDHQ; for evac center & animal shelter info, follow @RedCrossLA.
Deputies from Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Lancaster, Crescenta Vlly, Altadena & Malibu are out in full force helping residents of #LakeFire evacuate to safety.— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) August 13, 2020
Thank you to our partners @LACOFD @Angeles_NF pic.twitter.com/bk9HoseWlK
Not enough attention is being given to the major #LakeFire in California. It's only 4 hours old, and 11,000+ acres are gone.— Edgar McGregor (@edgarrmcgregor) August 13, 2020
This could be a real ecological disaster for the Angeles Nat. Forest. This is an incredibly hot, climate change helped, leave-nothing-behind type inferno. pic.twitter.com/nilFeNoDfr
By Thursday morning, it grew to 4 250 ha (10 500 acres) with zero percent containment. According to the incident report by the fire department, the blaze has so far destroyed three structures and is posing threats to 5 420 more.
"This will be a major fire for several days," said Robert Garcia, chief of the Angeles National Forest.
Fire officials said the event is unusual since it formed early in the fire season and it spread quickly without being triggered by strong winds. Media reports also noted that some of the areas are catching fire for the first time in more than 50 years.
Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief David Richardson told The Associated Press that adry bush and steep terrain were the factors that led to the fires that were as strong as the ones pushed by Santa Ana winds.
Officials said hot temperatures and low humidity will bring elevated fire conditions to Antelope Valley and the mountains as firemen continue to work on the field.
The exact cause of Lake Fire has yet to be determined. No injuries have been reported.
Featured image credit: County of Los Angeles Fire Department