Lake Fire flares up, no new evacuations ordered

The #LakeFire grew to 1,000 acres within 45 minutes of the initial report. The fire as seen from Golden Valley Road and Highway 14. Dan Watson / The Signal.

Fire crews continued their battle Friday against the Lake Fire through triple-digit temperatures and dry weather conditions that caused a flare-up and sent up another plume visible for several hundred miles away during the afternoon hours.  

By Friday morning, firefighters had declared 12% containment of the 11,637-acre Lake Fire, which has destroyed five structures in the Lake Hughes area, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. 

The blaze first erupted Wednesday afternoon and quickly consumed thousands of acres near the intersection of Lake Hughes Road and Elizabeth Lake Road, prompting evacuations in the area.

New evacuations were ordered around 5:30 p.m. in the Palmdale area: North Avenue D/Highway 138, south of Avenue A, west of 150th Street West and east of 200th Street West, according to the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.

Firefighters remained on the scene overnight with the objective to keep the fire north of Castaic Lake, south of Highway 138, east of Red Rock Mountain and west of Tule Ridge — a goal that remained in place for crews Friday. By Thursday night, the fire had consumed 11,000 acres and reached 5% containment. 

Friday’s weather conditions could present a challenge in firefighting efforts, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department morning report. 

“Warmer and drier conditions are forecasted for today as an excessive heat warning takes effect at 11 a.m. Near-critical fire weather conditions could develop this afternoon and evening as gusty onshore winds could combine with warm and dry conditions in place,” read the report. 

Smoke from the Lake Fire and the Ranch blaze in Azusa has caused unhealthy air quality for the SCV and across the region, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which recommended that residents avoid unnecessary outdoor exposure and to limit physical exertion. 

An estimated 5,420 structures remain threatened and two more were declared destroyed by Friday, which brought the overall total to five. No injuries or fatalities have been reported. 

Some road closures were lifted, with the only active closure to be San Francisquito Canyon Road from Stater Lane to Spunky Canyon Road. Evacuation points at Highland High School in Palmdale and the Castaic Sports Complex remain open, where those in need can access aid from the Red Cross. Due to COVID-19-related safety measures, those seeking refuge have been told to stay in their vehicles in the evacuation points’ parking lots. 

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