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Bobcat Fire: Containment Increases To 61%; Some Evacuations, Warnings Lifted

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Firefighters work the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest on Sept. 23, 2020. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
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Jump to: Basics | Evacuations | Weather and Air Quality | Additional Resources

The Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest continues to burn into its 21st day, but firefighters have been able to hold it to just over 114,000 acres and increased containment from overnight.

Forest officials said crews "will take advantage of favorable weather and fire activity to secure containment lines before heat and winds increase starting Sunday."

Larry Smith is a public information officer assigned to the fire. He says operations are mainly focused on the northeast side of the fire, near Mount Lewis, "although you may see just some occasional islands burning out in the immediate west as well," he said.

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Smith says impact assessment discovered more homes touched by the flames, bringing the total up to 67 destroyed and 26 damaged. More than 6,000 structures remain threatened, keeping roughly 4,000 people under evacuation order or warning. Residents of some portions of the Antelope Valley are now allowed home.

Fire activity was described as "smoldering and creeping" in most of the burn area, though firefighters were working to mop-up hot spots and continue to set backfires to keep the blaze in check.

Some evacuation orders have been lifted, and weekslong evacuation warnings have been rescinded in Pasadena and other foothill communities.

It now stands as one of the largest wildfires in Los Angeles County history.

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A firefighting helicopter makes a water drop, as a rainbow appears in the mist, during the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest on Sept. 23, 2020 near Pasadena. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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The L.A. County Fire Department is offering an Occupancy Support program for residents of the Antelope Valley area, which will allow them to be escorted into their homes to retrieve personal belongings and assess damage. The program will begin in the western part of Juniper Hills and continue east.

Here's what else we know:

THE BASICS

  • Acreage: 114,000 acres
  • Containment: 61%
  • Structures destroyed/damaged: At least 67 (full damage assessment pending)
  • Resources deployed: 1,575 firefighters

The fire erupted on Sept. 6 near the Cogswell Dam and then spread rapidly amid an intense, record-breaking heat wave, prompting evacuation orders for Mt. Wilson Observatory.

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The cause is still under investigation but So Cal Edison has told state regulators that one of its power lines nearby had a brief interruption a few minutes after fire cameras first detected smoke.

Currently, forest officials project that they'll reach full containment on Sept. 30.

EVACUATIONS

Mandatory evacuation orders remain in place for the following areas:

  • South and west of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon, east of Angeles Forest Highway, and north of Angeles Crest Highway

  • Residences along Angeles Crest Highway, between Angeles Forest Highway and Highway 39.

Warnings remain in place for the following areas:

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  • South of Fort Tejon Road and E. Avenue W-14, east of 87th Street E., west of 165th Street E, and north of the forest
  • South of Highway 138, east of 165th Street, west of Largo Vista Road, and north of Big Pines Highway.
  • Wrightwood
  • North of Fort Tejon Road, east of 87th Street E., west of 121st Street E., and south of Avenue V.

  • South of Highway 138, east of 121st Street E., west of 165th Street E., and north of Fort Tejon Road and E. Avenue W-14.

  • South of Highway 138, east of Largo Vista Road, west of 263rd Street E. (county line), and north of the forest.

  • South of Highway 138, north of Weber Ranch Road, east of Cheseboro Road, and west of 87th Street E.

  • South of Pearblossom Highway, south and east of Highway 122 (Sierra Hwy/Pearblossom), north and west of Mount Emma Road, west of Cheseboro Road, north and east of Angeles Forest Highway.

  • South of Mt. Emma Rd., North of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Rd., East of Angeles Forest Highway, and West of Pacifico Mountain

  • East Fork Areas: Julius Klein Conservation Camp 19, Camp Williams, and the River Community.

EVACUATION CENTERS

The temporary evacuation sites at Palmdale High School and Santa Anita Park have been closed.

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A firefighter keeps lookout from a ridge as smoke drifts during the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest on Sept. 23, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CLOSURES

  • The Angeles National Forest remains closed through at least Oct. 1
  • All roads leading into San Gabriel Canyon
  • State Route 39 is closed from north of Azusa to State Route 2
  • State Route 2 is closed from Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road to Big Pines
  • Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road between State Route 2 and Angeles Forest Highway
  • Mt. Wilson Road from State Route 2 to Mt. Wilson
  • Chantry Flat Road
  • Fort Tejon / Valyermo Road
  • Valyermo Road / Bob's Gap Road
  • Big Pines Highway / Largo Vista Road
  • Big Pines Highway / Mescal Creek Road
  • Big Pines Highway / Highway 2

WEATHER AND AIR QUALITY

Air quality advisories were been extended to Friday, Sept. 25.

Look up the latest air quality info for your area at airnow.gov.

HOW WE’RE REPORTING ON THIS

This is a developing story. We fact check everything and rely only on information from credible sources (think fire, police, government officials and reporters on the ground). Sometimes, however, we make mistakes and/or initial reports turn out to be wrong. In all cases, we strive to bring you the most accurate information in real time and will update this story as new information becomes available.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For the latest information straight from local emergency officials, check the following websites and social media accounts:

FIRE RESOURCES

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