Containment drops to 13% as Bobcat Fire continues to threaten homes in the Antelope Valley foothills

Local news

The massive Bobcat Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest continues to threaten homes in the Antelope Valley Monday.

The blaze, now raging into its third week, has scorched 106,179 acres, or nearly 166 square miles. Monday night, containment was downgraded to 13% from 15%.

More than 1,000 homes remained under threat Monday night.

More than 1,500 firefighters were assigned to the inferno Monday night, along with 185 of engines and 11 water tenders, according to Angeles National Forest officials.

A fixed-wing aircraft battling the blaze was grounded after a drone was spotted, officials said. They warned that firefighting aircraft must stay grounded until the area is cleared.

Last week, flames came dangerously close to the Mt. Wilson Observatory, but it was pushing toward Highway 2. On Monday, unfavorable winds delayed protection efforts around the observatory, firefighters said.

Over the weekend, the fire destroyed the nature center at Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area, a geological wonder that attracts some 130,000 visitors a year.

On Monday afternoon, a flare-up was burning in the Chantry Flat area above Arcadia, creating large plumes of smoke.

Flames could be seen near power poles as an aircraft made water drops, aerial video from Sky5 showed.

Homes are now threatened on the north end of the fire, in the Antelope Valley, as the blaze continued to grow to the west and east, officials said.

“The fire will continue to spread from the foothills into communities of Juniper Hills, Valyermo and Big Pine,” according to Inciweb. Additionally, the communities of Littlerock and Wrightwood “will be impacted soon,” officials said.

The fire also threatens containment lines north of the recent Ranch 2 Fire and the Highway 39 corridor.

Dry conditions and low humidity, coupled with warm overnight temperatures, mean the fire will burn through the night, officials said.

Winds are expected to spread the blaze downslope, causing spotting, rapid growth and structure threats.

A cooling trend is expected to last through mid-week, but humidity in the area remains relatively low. And while winds have subsided slightly, gusts reached 30 mph in some areas.

Evacuation orders

Residents of the following areas remain under evacuation orders:

  • Angeles Crest Highway, between Angeles Forest Highway and Highway 39.
  • The unincorporated areas of Juniper Hills, Devils Punch Bowl and Paradise Springs.
  • The unincorporated areas of Crystal Lake, East Fork of the San Gabriel River and Camp Willams.
  • South of Highway 138, north of Big Rock Creek, east of 87th Street East and West of Largo Vista Road.
  • South of 138th Street East, north of Big Pine Highway and Highway 2, east of Largo Vista Road and west of 263rd Street East.
  • South of Highway 138, north of East Avenue W-14, east of 155th Street East and West of 165th Street East.
  • South and west of Upper Big Tujunga.
  • East of Angeles Forest Highway.
  • North of Angeles Crest Highway.

Evacuation warnings

Residents of the following areas are under evacuation warnings:

  • City of Pasadena.
  • Unincorporated communities of Altadena and Wrightwood.
  • South of Pearblossom Highway, east and north of Angeles Forest Highway, north and west of Mt. Emma Road, east and south of Highway 22 and west of Cheseboro Road.
  • South of Highway 2, north of Blue Ridge Truck Trail, east of Highway 39 and West of the Los Angeles County border.
  • South of Avenue U-8, north of East Avenue W-14, east of 121st East and west of 155th Street East.
  • South of Pearblossom Highway, south and east of Pearblossom Highway, north and west of Mt. Emma Road, north and east of Angeles Forest Highway and west of Cheseboro Road.
  • South of Mt. Emma Road, north of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road, east of Angeles Forest Highway and west of Pacifico Mountain.

An evacuation center is located at Palmdale High School, 2137 East Avenue R.

Accommodations for large animals are available at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2551 West Avenue H in Lancaster.

Anyone in need of assistance can call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 800-675-5799.

The blaze started Sept. 6 near the Cogswell Dam and West Fork day use area. The cause remains under investigation.

Officials will be holding a virtual public meeting on the blaze at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

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