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Morning Briefing: Wildfire Season Begins In Earnest

The Ranch Fire in Asuza. (Ian Adams/LAist)
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Wildfires are nothing new in California these days, but to add them to the already apocalyptic feel of 2020 seems … unnecessary.

Yet, here we are. The Lake Fire broke out on Wednesday afternoon in Lake Hughes, an unincorporated area in the Angeles National Forest. It’s already burned 10,500 acres and is at 0% containment. To put that in some context, the past 10 wildfires (not including this one) reported by Cal Fire burned an average of 1,025 acres.

According to Robert Garcia, the U.S. Forest Service Chief, “it will be a major fire for several days.” More than 1,000 firefighters are on the scene, and they’re no doubt hoping to get some containment before the weekend, when temperatures are expected to reach almost 100 degrees.

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On Thursday afternoon, a second fire broke out, this time in Azusa Canyon. The Ranch Fire is nowhere near as big as the Lake Fire, with 500 acres burned at last count, but the dual blazes – and the hot weather approaching – signal that more could be on the way.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, August 14

A new school of ethnic studies at Cal State L.A. and a forthcoming California university rule put California at the forefront of requiring students to take ethnic studies. But there's currently a struggle over who gets to shape what the programs and classes look like. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has the story.

Assimilation as an immigrant is hard. How do you fit in and stay rooted in the country and culture you’re so proud to be a part of? For Marina Peña, it was a new friend, tastes of home, and a whole lot of Harry Potter.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

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Fire And Water: The Lake Fire broke out Wednesday afternoon and quickly exploded to more than 10,000 acres within a few hours, with 0% containment as of Thursday afternoon. The Ranch Fire began in Azusa Canyon on Thursday afternoon. Environmental activists who believe that clean water flowing back into the ocean is wasteful received a ruling in their favor in a lawsuit against the cities of Los Angeles, Burbank and Glendale.

Policing The Police: The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is moving to suspend or terminate 26 employees in connection with a 2018 incident in which East L.A. deputies attacked colleagues at a party.

Reopening And Funding: Here are the SoCal districts that have applied for school reopening waivers. President Trump appeared to confirm that he opposes Democrats' proposed boost in funding to the U.S. Postal Service for the express purpose of making it harder to expand voting by mail. (Though later in the day he said he wouldn't veto a bill with that funding.)

Here’s What To Do: Attend a couple of drive-through comedy nights, create your most Instagrammable dish for a summer potluck, and more in this week’s pandemic-approved events.

Photo Of The Day

Flames from the Lake Fire burn on a hillside in the Angeles National Forest.

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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