LakeFire surpasses 50% containment, partial repopulation announced

The Lake Fire burns along Pine Canyon Road on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. Rick McClure/For The Signal

The Lake Fire grew just more than 1,600 acres over the past 24 hours and reached 52% containment by Thursday evening, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department officials. 

In their evening incident update, fire officials said the fire was at 27,841 acres. The update said 1,843 personnel were assigned to battle the fire, which remained active overnight due to increased winds and dry conditions. 

Fire officials also announced the northeast portion of the Lake Hughes community could repopulate starting Friday at 10 a.m. The only areas that can repopulate include east of Shafer Road, west of Mountain View Road, south of Highway 138 and north of Pine Canyon Road/Elizabeth Lake Road. 

“Dozers and hand crews made good progress on containment lines on the southwest edge of the fire between Burrow and Rattlesnake canyons,” said the incident update. “Firefighters continue to be challenged with rugged terrain, high temperatures, critically dry fuels and drought stressed trees.”

Between the Wednesday and Thursday morning updates, firefighters were able to lower the number of structures threatened by the blaze from 4,570 to 1,329.

No new structures have been damaged or destroyed in the meantime, with the numbers holding at 6 and 12, respectively. One injury has been reported since the onset of the blaze, which began on Aug. 12.

When the fire first broke out, a plume of smoke was sent into the sky that was visible from the Santa Clarita Valley, and seen as far as Venice Beach.

The evacuations ordered that first day, from Lake Hughes Road west of Pine Canyon and north of Dry Gulch Road, east of Ridge Route Road, west of Lake Hughes Road and Fire Station 78, north of Pine Canyon and Lake Hugh Road, and south of State Route 138, remain in effect.

Road closures issued on the first day will also remain in effect, particularly around Castaic Lake. The recreation area and body of water are housing the incident command as well as providing water for the water drops, and both the upper and lower lakes along with all facilities in the Castaic Lake Recreation area closed until further notice.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued another unsafe air quality advisory for Los Angeles County as a result of the fire.

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