‘We anticipate increased fire activity’: More residents under warning as Bobcat Fire burns 46,260 acres

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New evacuation warnings were issued Wednesday night as the Bobcat Fire burned for its 10th day in Angeles National Forest, with about 46,260 acres charred and 3% containment, officials said.

The warnings issued around 8:45 p.m. are the first north of the blaze in the Antelope Valley and include the following areas:

  • Juniper Hills
  • south of Fort Tejon Road and east of 96th Street East, east of Pearblossom
  • south of Valyermo Road west of Bob’s Gap Road, in the Big Rock Springs area

Earlier Wednesday, mandatory evacuation orders were lifted south of blaze, in the area north of Elkins Avenue and east of Santa Anita Avenue in the communities of Arcadia and Sierra Madre.

Evacuation orders were still in place for residents within the area north of Angeles Crest North and between Clear Creek Station and Highway 39 Tuesday.

A Red Cross Evacuation Center remains open at Santa Anita Park, located at 285 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia.

Foothill communities of Monrovia, Bradbury, Sierra Madre, Altadena, Duarte and Pasadena remained under an evacuation warning.

A fire information map posted by the U.S. Forest Service is seen on Sept. 16, 2020.
A fire information map posted by the U.S. Forest Service is seen on Sept. 16, 2020.

The fire’s footprint grew by about 1,900 acres over the course of the day Wednesday, while containment remained unchanged.

The blaze was within 500 feet of the Mount Wilson Observatory on Tuesday but firefighters were able to protect the 116-year-old site. However, fire officials said Wednesday night that the fire remained active in the area.

Earlier Wednesday, fire officials said vegetation around Mount Wilson is at “critically dry levels and we anticipate increased fire activity over the next couple of days compared to yesterday.”

On Wednesday, firefighters focused on securing the south end of the fire, establishing a line of protection from Arcadia Wilderness Park to Santa Anita Canyon Road. Crews were also working to protect the Camp Trask area, according to U.S. Forest Service’s InciWeb page.

But flames were able to continue spreading beyond the fire’s perimeter due to lighter smoke, higher temperatures and lower humidity, officials said.

Firefighters worked to strengthen the containment lines Wednesday and look for opportunities to attack the fire directly, with additional “strategic firing” as necessary to secure the lines.

Air tankers were ordered to help contain spot fires along the Highway 2 corridor in Cooper Canyon on the northern edge of the fire, reaching approximately 700 to 1,000 acres. But that section was continuing to spread north into the Pleasant View Wilderness, firefighters said.

On the east side, along Highway 39, fire crews were preparing for a strategic firing operation to strengthen containment lines.

The cause for the Bobcat Fire has not yet been determined.

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