Air quality will be unhealthy Wednesday for “sensitive groups” in the Antelope Valley, as the Bobcat Fire continues to burn, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Los Angeles County’s health officer, Dr. Muntu Davis, advises people who live or work in the Antelope Valley and have heart disease, asthma or other respiratory diseases to minimize outdoor activities in light of the AQMD’s forecast.
Children who have sensitive conditions, including heart disease, asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases, should not participate in outdoor physical activity and should stay indoors as much as possible.
“It is difficult to tell where smoke, ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of these particles in the air, so we ask everyone to remember that smoke and ash can be harmful to health, even for people who are healthy,” Davis said. “If you can see smoke, soot, or ash, or you can smell smoke, pay attention to your immediate environment and take precautions to safeguard your health. These precautions are particularly important for children, older adults, and people with heart or lung diseases.”
For current air quality maps and forecasts, visit the AQMD website at www.aqmd.gov/home/air-quality.
The Bobcat Fire had burned 112,053 acres and was 17% contained as of early Wednesday morning. The Bobcat Fire, one of the largest in Los Angeles County history, is burning in the Angeles National Forest and threatening communities in the Antelope Valley and San Gabriel Valley foothills. Flames have destroyed or damaged 29 structures, with authorities fearing the number could rise to 85.
Information was not available regarding how many of the burned structures were homes. That assessment was expected to be completed by Wednesday.
The fire has burned more acres than the Woolsey Fire of 2018, which burned 96,271 acres, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said Tuesday. The Station Fire in 2009 burned 160,577 acres.
The fire came down from the Angeles National Forest into Cima Mesa, Juniper Hills, Pearblossom and Devil’s Punchbowl on Friday and damaged some structures, Vince Pena of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said Monday evening.
The Nature Center at the Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area was destroyed by the fire, Los Angeles County parks officials said. The area is closed until further notice.
A total of 1,556 personnel were assigned to the Bobcat Fire as of Tuesday evening.
A closure order has been issued for national forests in Southern California, including the Angeles National Forest.
The Bobcat Fire erupted on Sept. 6 near the Cogswell Dam and West Fork Day Use area northeast of Mount Wilson and within the Angeles National Forest. The cause remains under investigation. Full containment is not expected until Oct. 30.
#BobcatFire Evening Operational Update for September 22, 2020 #LACoFD #LACoFDPIO pic.twitter.com/D7Wdrz8H8g
— Angeles_NF (@Angeles_NF) September 23, 2020