Firefighters Battle for Control of Lake Hughes Fire

Firefighters Battle for Control of Lake Hughes Fire

Taylor Martinez

LAKE HUGHES (CNS) – Firefighters overnight continued to improve containment lines around a wildfire near Lake Hughes that has consumed 18,526 acres since Wednesday, but were bracing for temperatures forecast to be in excess of 100 degrees Monday.

As of 8 a.m., the containment figure for the Lake Fire was listed at 31%, up from 12% on Sunday, Cal Fire reported. Full containment is not expected until Sept. 2.

The blaze has destroyed 12 structures and 21 outbuildings and damaged three other structures. An estimated 4,570 structures remain threatened, fire officials said. No injuries have been reported.

Fire commanders reported Monday morning that 1,894 firefighters were battling the blaze, along with 12 helicopters, 23 water tenders and 189 engines.

Evacuations remained in effect for the following areas: Lake Hughes Road west of Pine Canyon and north of Dry Gulch Road, east of Ridge Route Road, west of Lake Hughes Road and Fire Station 78, north of Pine Canyon and Lake Hughes Road, and south of SR-138.

An evacuation site was established at Highland High School, at 39055 25th St. West in Palmdale, according to the American Red Cross. The Castaic Sports Complex evacuation center was closed Friday.

Evacuation points are rest sites for those affected to assess their needs and for the Red Cross to present options for lodging. Snacks, water and COVID-19 resources are provided by volunteers, who follow coronavirus protocols for social distancing, cleaning routines and health checks.

Animal boarding was available at the Castaic Animal Care Center at 31044 Charlie Canyon Road. Large animals were being taken to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2551 W. Avenue H in Lancaster, where a a public meeting is scheduled for Monday evening at 6 p.m.

People who attend in person must wear a face covering and follow social distancing protocols. The meeting will also be livestreamed on the Angeles National Forest Facebook page at @AngelesNationalForest, the Los Angeles County Fire Facebook page at @LACoFD and LACo Fire Department Instagram account at @LACountyFD.

San Francisquito Canyon Road was closed from Stater Lane to Spunky Canyon, as well as Three Points Road from state Route 138 to Pine Canyon, Old Ridge Route from Highway 138 to Pine Canyon, and Lake Hughes Road from Ridge Route Road to Pine Canyon.

Poor air quality in and around the area of the fire was expected to affect the public and first responders.

The fire was first reported about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday near North Lake Hughes Road and Pine Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest, according to the U. S. Forest Service, which was battling the blaze with Los Angeles County Fire Department crews and assistance from the Los Angeles, Culver City, Beverly Hills, Monterey Park, Long Beach and Santa Monica fire departments.

“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.

Although some structures were lost, a number of structures were saved by firefighters, he said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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