LAKE HUGHES – A fast-moving brush fire quickly scorched at least 10,000 acres of brush in the Lake Hughes area Wednesday, prompting mandatory evacuations.
The Lake Fire was reported at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, near North Lake Hughes Road and Pine Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest, according to Marvin Lim of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which was battling the blaze with Angeles National Forest crews.
The fire had a “rapid rate of spread,” and the ANF and county fire departments called in second-alarm responses.
By 4:30 p.m., the flames had burned 400 acres, and officials said the fire had the potential to burn 1,000 acres, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. That quickly changed an hour later, when the flames exploded across an estimated 10,000 acres, with no containment.
The fire was entirely on federal land as of 6:30 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The sheriff’s department issued mandatory evacuation orders affecting at least 100 homes, and an evacuation center was set up for displaced residents at Highland High School in Palmdale.
By 7:15 p.m., the flames had jumped Pine Canyon Road, two miles west of Lake Hughes Road, and shortly after, flames were seen on aerial footage burning what appeared to be homes in the area.
ABC7 reported at 7:20 p.m. that homes had started to burn in the fire.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story was revised from 6,000 to 10,000 acres to reflect the current state of the fire.
UPDATE 8/13/2020: As of 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, the fire’s size was listed as 10,500 acres, with three structures destroyed and 5,420 threatened, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. No injuries have been reported.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered for an area east of Ridge Route Road, west of Lake Hughes Road, north of Pine Canyon Road and Lake Hughes Road, and south of SR138. More than 100 structures were affected in the evacuation area, including primary residences and outbuildings, in the communities of Lake Hughes and Pine Canyon, officials said.
Evacuation centers were set up for displaced residents at Highland High School, 39055 25th Street West in Palmdale; and at the Castaic Sports Complex, 31230 Castaic Road in Castaic. Animal boarding was made available at Castaic Animal Care Center, Lancaster Animal Care Center, Palmdale Animal Care Center and the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. More than 1,000 firefighters, along with three helicopters, five water tenders, and 173 engines, were assigned to the firefighting effort Thursday.