evacuation-orders-lifted-for-bobcat-fire,-89%-contained

The Bobcat Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest, which has scorched 115,769 acres, was 89% contained Tuesday morning, with evacuation orders lifted.

“All areas under evacuation order are now under evacuation warning,” according to a statement Monday night from the U.S. Forest Service.

The following areas are now under evacuation warning:

  • Paradise Springs – south of Big Pines Highway, east of Devil’s Punchbowl, west of Largo Vista Road and north of the forest.
  • South and west of Upper Tujunga Canyon Road, east of Angeles Forest Highway and north of Angeles Crest Highway.
  • Residences along Angeles Crest Highway, between Angeles Forest Highway and Highway 39.

Evacuation warnings were lifted for the following areas:

  • South of Big Pines Highway, east of Largo Vista Road, west of 263rd Street and north of the forest.
  • South of Mount Emma Road, north of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon, east of Angeles Forest Highway and west of Pacifico Mountain.
  • East Fork areas: Julius Klein Conservation Camp 19, Camp Williams and the River Community.

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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.

A half-dozen injuries have been reported, according to the USFS, which said 572 personnel were engaged in the firefighting effort as of Monday, with eight helicopters in use. The estimated full containment date for the fire is estimated to be Oct. 30.

Angeles National Forest personnel will take over command of firefighting operations Tuesday.

“There are still some areas of concern … active islands (of fire) continue to burn out on the north side of Mt. Wilson and we have some perimeter line that’s still a threat in the Big Rock Canyon area,” incoming Incident Commander Seth Mitchell of the Angeles National Forest said Monday.

“We’re going to continue to have resources engaged throughout the next several days actively patrolling and mopping up and securing the edge, that way it’s no longer a threat to the community.”

Firefighters earlier mounted a successful effort to protect Mt. Wilson, which is home not only to one of the crown jewels of astronomy but also to infrastructure that transmits cellphone signals and television and radio broadcasts for the greater Los Angeles area.

The blaze has destroyed 170 structures, including 87 residences, and damaged 47 structures, including 28 residences. The Nature Center at the Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area was destroyed, according to Los Angeles County parks officials.

A map, compiled from ongoing field damage inspection and subject to change, can be viewed at lacounty.gov/recovery/damage inspection.

Affected residents can call 211 and make an appointment with the Local Assistance Center located at Palmdale High School, which will be open until Tuesday. Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, walk-ins are not permitted. Property tax relief, clean-up, repair and rebuilding information, mental health resources and help with replacing lost or damaged legal documents are all available.

The Red Cross evacuation centers at Palmdale High School and Santa Anita Park have closed, but anyone still needing assistance can call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 800-675-5799.

The fire was continuing to threaten some 6,000 structures in the foothills of the Antelope and San Gabriel valleys.

Road closures remained in place for:

— Big Santa Anita Road (the Chantry road).

— Big Rock Creek Road remains closed at Big Pines Highway.

— Highway 2 at Angeles Forest Highway and Vincent Gap.

— Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road is closed at Angeles Forest Highway.

Angeles Forest Highway and Highway 39 to Crystal Lake Road were open Monday night.

The Angeles National Forest, including campgrounds and day-use sites, remains closed until at least Thursday due to wildfire threat, with a prohibition in effect on the use of any ignition sources such as campfires or gas stoves.

Nearly three dozen members of California’s congressional delegation, including Rep. Judy Chu, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, wrote a letter to President Donald Trump last 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, which is burning in Chu’s district.

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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