Some Antelope Valley evacuation orders lifted as Bobcat Fire containment increases to 55%

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A scorched landscape from the Bobcat Fire in the community of Juniper Hills on Sept. 19, 2020. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

A scorched landscape from the Bobcat Fire in the community of Juniper Hills on Sept. 19, 2020. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Some evacuation orders in the Antelope Valley have been lifted as containment of the nearly 114,000-acre Bobcat Fire has increased to 55%, officials said Friday.

The orders changed to warnings as of 4 p.m., and only residents of the following areas were allowed to return home:

  • South of Fort Tejon Road and East Avenue W-14, east of 87th Street East, west of 165th Street East and Devil’s Punchbowl, and north of the forest and Big Pines Highway.
  • South of Highway 138, east of 165th Street, west of Largo Vista Road and north of Big Pines Highway.

The Paradise Springs area, south of Big Pines Highway, east of Devil’s Punchbowl, west of Largo Vista Road and north of the forest, will remain under an evacuation order, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s incident information page.

Additionally, the following areas remain under an evacuation warning:

  • South of Big Pines Highway, east of Largo Vista Road, west of 263rd Street East (county line), and north of the forest.
  • South of Highway 138, north of Weber Ranch Road, east of Cheseboro Road, and west of 87th Street East.
  • South of Pearblossom Highway, south and east of Highway 122, north and west of Mount Emma Road, west of Cheseboro Road, north and east of Angeles Forest Highway.

Since sparking Sept. 6 in the Azusa area of the Angeles National Forest, the massive blaze came dangerously close to the Mount Wilson Observatory and threatened homes in the Antelope Valley.

Earlier this week, officials estimated that least 52 structures have been destroyed in the blaze, including homes in the Juniper Hills area.

And while containment is slowly increasing, firefighters are still working on securing the west side of the fire before winds shift to the northeast on Sunday, officials said.

A prolonged heatwave will bring near record-breaking temperatures and dry conditions to Southern California this weekend and could create critical fire conditions.

The blaze continues to cause unhealthy air quality in some areas.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District on Friday again extended a smoke advisory in the west and east San Gabriel Valley, the Pomona-Walnut Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains.

The advisory will remain in effect through Saturday.

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