LOS ANGELES – Firefighters increased containment of the Bobcat Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest to 84% Saturday, although the 114,963-acre blaze continued to threaten some 6,000 structures.
Saturday’s fire behavior was expected to mainly consist of smoldering where heat exists within the fire’s existing footprint, with firefighters mopping up, patrolling, and improving containment lines.
“Isolated pockets of fire are still present in the Mt. Wilson area on the northern slope and firefighting priorities are to protect the observatory and communications sites there,” the U.S. Forest Service said.
Mt. Wilson is home to infrastructure that transmits cellphone signals and television and radio broadcasts for the greater Los Angeles Area.
Firefighters reported minimal fire activity and no fire growth on Friday and, combined with forecast lower temperatures this weekend and light winds, the fire was not expected to grow significantly, the USFS said.
Flames have destroyed 170 structures in the Antelope Valley area, with 87 of those residential. Six injuries have also been reported, according to USFS officials.
A map, which is compiled from ongoing field damage inspection and subject to change, can be viewed at lacounty.gov/recovery/damage-inspection/.
The Nature Center at the Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area was destroyed by the fire and is closed until further notice, Los Angeles County parks officials said.
The Angeles National Forest is closed until at least Oct. 8. The Forest is closed to all general activity, including developed campgrounds and day-use sites due to wildfire threat, and the use of any ignition sources — such as campfires and gas stoves — is prohibited.
Thirty-three members of California’s congressional delegation, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Judy Chu, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to President Donald Trump this week urging him to support Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to respond to the wildfires raging in California, including the Bobcat Fire.
The Bobcat Fire erupted on Sept. 6 near the Cogswell Dam and West Fork Day Use area northeast of Mt. Wilson and within the Angeles National Forest. The cause is still under investigation.
Some 936 personnel were engaged in the firefighting effort as of Saturday, Oct. 3.
The estimated full containment date for the fire is Oct. 30. For more information on the Bobcat Fire, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7152/.