More than a week after the Bobcat fire ignited in the rugged terrain of the Angeles National Forest, it has emerged as an unusual menace that has evaded fire crews and terrorized local communities — despite burning no homes and causing no injuries.
The fire has contributed to days of terrible air quality in Los Angeles, with residents reporting “mesquite-like” smells and a “powdery layer of haze” amid smoke advisories from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
It also has managed to outwit firefighters, even in the absence of powerful Santa Ana winds that failed to materialize as predicted last week. Instead, officials say, the Bobcat fire’s power lies in two factors: its location and an inadequate supply of firefighters.
But climate experts warn there are larger factors at play.
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