Evacuations ordered in 350-acre King Fire in Lancaster; forward progress stopped

Local news

Forward progress has been halted on a 350-acre brush fire that triggered evacuations in Lancaster as it broke out amid scorching heat Thursday, officials said.

Dubbed the King Fire, flames were first reported shortly before 3 p.m. in the area of 90th Street West and West Avenue K and erupted to cover 150 acres within minutes, Los Angeles County fire officials said.

Evacuations were ordered shortly before 4 p.m. for residents south of West Avenue I, north of West Avenue J, east of 70th Street West and west of 80th Street West.

West avenues I and J were both closed to traffic between 70th and 90th Street West, officials said.

Around 3:20 p.m. lumber stacked outdoors on a property that included multiple structures could be seen going up in flames in aerial video from Sky5.

However, by 4:30 p.m. firefighters said the threat to structures had been mitigated, but crews were still working to put out hotspots and reinforce containment lines.

No buildings had been damaged and no injuries were reported, authorities said.

More than 200 firefighters were called in to battle the flames in the air and on the ground.

The fire was spreading across dry, flat terrain in intense heat, sending large amounts of white smoke across the area.

The blaze erupted amid a heat wave that shattered multiple temperature records across the Antelope Valley this week.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Palmdale, Lancaster and Sandberg all saw records break, making it three days straight that the heat reached record levels in Palmdale. 

On Thursday, the temperature in Lancaster hit 111 degrees, with winds blowing at about 22 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Due to the prolonged sweltering weather, Californians are being asked to reduce their energy consumption between 5 and 10 p.m. Thursday to relieve strain on the state’s power grid. The Flex Alert will also be in effect Friday between 6 and 9 p.m.

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