Lake Hughes

Lake Hughes Fire Burns Dozens of Structures, Over 18,000 Acres

No injuries have been reported.

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Firefighters continued to battle an out-of-control wildfire today near Lake Hughes that has consumed 18,361 acres.

The acreage of the fire was revised down from 17,842 to 14,714 Saturday after officials reconsidered their mapping. But Sunday evening, the unified fire command issued a new acreage estimate upping the total to more than 18,300 acres.

As of 7 p.m. Sunday, the containment figure for the Lake Fire remained at 12%, Cal Fire reported. The blaze has now destroyed 12 structures, 21 outbuildings and damaged three others as firefighters prepared to battle flames in extreme heat and low humidity throughout the weekend. An estimated 4,570 buildings are also threatened.

No injuries have been reported.

The multi-agency effort reported Sunday evening it now had a total of 1,890 personnel battling the blaze, along with 11 helicopters, 23 water tenders and 194 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, which operated on Thursday, was closed Friday.

At 10:30 p.m. Friday, the Red Cross announced it was transitioning the Antelope Valley fairgrounds evacuation point to standby status due to the increased containment of the fire, but would "monitor the situation and respond with evacuation points as needed."

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 at the sites by volunteers, who follow coronavirus protocols for social distancing, cleaning routines and health checks, the Red Cross said.

Animal boarding was made available at Castaic Animal Care Center 31044 Charlie Canyon Road. Large animals were being taken at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2551 W. Avenue H in Lancaster.

Individual needs for people and animals were being assessed at the evacuation centers by Red Cross personnel.

San Francisquito Canyon Road has been 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.

"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 Friday.

"Spotting and aggressive fire behavior will continue."

The fire was first reported at 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 this week 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.

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

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department tweeted at 10:57 a.m. Saturday that investigators from its Arson/Explosives Detail were being deployed to the scene of the fire.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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