UPDATE: Castaic Fire burns nearly 180 acres, 85% contained

Fixed-wing aircraft aid firefighters as they battle the Castaic Fire near Castaic Lake Saturday afternoon. August 01, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

A fast-moving, 170-acre brush fire near Castaic Lake Saturday reached 85% containment by Monday morning, according to Angeles National Forest officials. 

Overnight Saturday, crews were able to build hand and dozer lines, only allowing the acreage to grow slightly to 178, with 50% containment achieved by Sunday morning, per ANF officials.

Crews remained on the scene through the day Sunday and Monday to continue building containment lines and searching for hotspots, with full containment expected by the end of the day, according to Andrew Mitchell, ANF spokesman.

Crews first responded to reports of the fire near the lake’s boat launch on the 32000 block of Castaic Lake Drive around 4:04 p.m. Saturday, Mitchell said.

With assistance from Los Angeles County Fire Department, ANF personnel led the assault. 

Dubbed the Castaic Fire, the blaze reached 1 acre around 4:20 p.m., and was running uphill in an old burn area from years back with medium to heavy fuel, according to firefighters on the scene. 

“We sent a full first alarm brush response,” Mitchell said as the fire had first started spreading. “Usually, we send five engines, but now with high temperatures, we send seven. We also sent out patrols, a tanker, copters and dozers.”

By 5:40 p.m., the fire had grown to 160 acres with 0% containment, prompting the closure of the lake and Templin Highway from Ridge Route East, though no structures were reported threatened. 

A Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter aids firefighters as they battle the Castaic Fire near Castaic Lake on Saturday, Aug. 01, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

Local firefighters were joined by others who had traveled from Wyoming and Arizona to help bolster the U.S. Forest Service’s capacity in Southern California, per ANF officials. 

Firefighters were able to hold the fire at 170 acres with 0% containment by 7 p.m., according to Mitchell.

“A rapid and aggressive attack by the Forest Service and Los Angeles County Fire have stopped the forward rate of spread holding the fire at approximately 170 acres,” Incident Commander Oscar Vargas said in a statement. 

Signal Staff Writer Tammy Murga contributed to this report.

U.S. Forestry Services Sky Crane gets water from Castaic Lake to battle the nearby Castaic Fire on Saturday, Aug. 01, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

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