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Lake Fire

Unit Information

Angeles National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006

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Lake Fire Evening Update, August 23

Lake Fire Wildfire
News – 8/23/2020

Current Situation: The Lake Fire started in the Angeles National Forest near Lake Hughes and is burning in 100-year-old fuels consisting of Big Cone Douglas Fir, Oak, and Gray Pine. The fire is burning northeast of Interstate 5 and south of Highway 138.

There are many hazards that firefighters encounter when constructing containment lines. One specific hazard on the Lake Fire is the Yucca plant. When burned, the root ball releases from the soil and rolls downhill. These pineapple-sized chunks of burning material can escape containment lines and ignite unburned vegetation below firefighters working in steep terrain. Firefighters must watch out for these hazards to ensure their safety. 

Today’s priority for hand crews and engines was to continue holding containment lines on the southwest edge of the fire. Crews are using tactical firing operations (applying fire on the ground) as conditions allow. Tactical firing operations help reduce vegetation (fuel) on the forest floor, to widen previously constructed containment lines and stop the progress of the fire to the north and west to protect communities. A commonly used tool for tactical firing is the handheld drip torch. A drip torch consists of an aluminum cylinder containing a mixture of fuel, with a long spout at the top. The end of the spout has a wick, that ignites the fuel as it is poured from the spout by firefighters. Today, tactical firing operations on the Lake Fire were hindered by the increase in relative humidity.

Weather: A slight chance of thunderstorms and flash flooding remains, but the lack of activity so far continues to reduce these chances. A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for the interior mountains, Cuyama and Antelope Valleys through 9:00 PM tonight. Recent burn areas, including the Lake Fire, could experience flooding and debris flows. Skies are expected to be partly cloudy tonight, with temperatures 70-75 degrees, with humidity around 50-60%. Winds are expected to be out of the west and southwest 5-10 mph, and gusting up to 15 mph.

Repopulation of Evacuees: Residents on the northeast side of the Lake Hughes community were permitted to return to their homes on Friday. Residents can only access the area via Elizabeth Lake Road from the east. There is no access from the west due to the current road closures. Residents returning to their homes will have to show identification. Intermittent power outages and other hazards may still be present in the area. For safety information on returning home after a wildfire visit: bit.ly/repopfacts

Evacuations: The following areas remain under evacuation orders; South of Highway 138, East of Old Ridge Route, West of Shafer Road, North of Pine Canyon Road / Elizabeth Lake Road, Lake Hughes Road South of Deeswood Drive, and North of Dry Gulch Road. Unified Incident Commanders continue to evaluate all evacuated areas for the potential to safely repopulate.

Evacuation Point(s):  Evacuation points will be opened as needed. If you should need assistance, please call 1-800-Red-Cross (1-800-733-2767).

Road Closures: Three Points Road from Highway 138 to Pine Canyon Road, Old Ridge Route from Highway 138 to Pine Canyon Road, Lake Hughes Road from Ridge Route Road to Deeswood Drive, Pine Canyon Road from Old Ridge Route to Shafer Road, Dry Gulch Road from San Francisquito Canyon Road to Lake Hughes Road. Additional Closures: The Castaic Lake Recreation Area and surrounding areas are being used in support of the fire. The upper and lower lakes and recreation facilities are closed until further notice.  

Forest Fire Closure/Restrictions: The Angeles National Forest has closed all National Forest System lands within the Lake Fire closure area by Order No. 05-01-20-6. On Saturday, August 1st, the Forest changed its Fire Danger Level from VERY HIGH to EXTREME. Angeles Forest Order No. 05-01-20-05 prohibits all campfires within the Angeles National Forest. No fires of any type including cooking stoves, lanterns, and similar devices which use propane, white gas, or similar fuels are allowed at this time.

Animal Care: Antelope Valley Fairgrounds (Large Animals Only) 2551 W Avenue H, Lancaster, CA.

  Smoke Outlook: The South Coast Air Quality Management District has extended the air quality advisory for the Lake Fire, affecting San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties. If you smell smoke or see ash due to a wildfire, limit your exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter, in addition to avoiding vigorous physical activity.

Cooperating Agencies: CalFire, County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, County of Los Angeles Public Works, County of Los Angeles Animal Care & Control, County of Los Angeles Parks & Recreation, Red Cross, and Southern California Edison.

Safety Message: There are many hazards that may exist when returning to your home after a wildfire. For more information on returning safely to your home after a wildfire from Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit:http://bit.ly/ReturningHomeAfterAFire

Angeles National Forest: For information on the Angeles National Forest visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/angeles

Wildfire Preparedness: Learn more about Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Ready! Set! Go! Program at: www.fire.lacounty.gov/rsg

Incident Information Line: (323) 205-5263 from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM