Lake Fire in Southern California chars 10,500 acres; mandatory evacuations in place

Firefighters were battling a brush fire that has charred thousands of acres near Lake Hughes in the Angeles National Forest.
LAKE HUGHES, Calif. -- A fast-moving brush fire near Lake Hughes in the Angeles National Forest prompted evacuations and burned homes as firefighters continue to battle flames early Thursday morning.

The Lake Fire exploded in size in a matter of hours and charred 10,500 acres amid hot temperatures after it was reported Wednesday at about 3:45 p.m. near the intersection of North Lake Hughes Road and Pine Canyon Road, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A Wednesday evening update listed containment at 0% hours after it began.

The blaze is driving through brushy ridgetops, including areas that last burned in 1968. The flames created an enormous column of smoke seen dozens of miles away.



No injuries were immediately reported, but Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced mandatory evacuation orders. Approximately 100 structures were affected by the evacuation orders.

According to L.A. County Fire Department, evacuations were ordered in the area of Lake Hughes Road west of Pine Canyon Road and north of Dry Gulch Road, east of Ridge Route Road, west of Lake Hughes Road and Fire Station 78, north of Pine Canyon and Lake Hughes Road and south of Highway 138.



Evacuation points were set up at Highland High School at 39055 25th St. West Palmdale and the Castaic Sports Complex at 31230 Castaic Rd.

Shelters for large animals were available at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds and the Castaic Fairgrounds.

The L.A. County Fire Department said Wednesday night the blaze "will continue to grow and threaten the surrounding communities of Lake Hughes, Leona Valley, Lake Elizabeth, Pine Canyon and Three Points" and that air operations would continue overnight.

Five hundred firefighters, who are already at the scene or on their way, are tackling the inferno, including firefighter from Clovis. Clovis Fire said some of their team was deployed on Wednesday night to help fight the blaze.



Multiple aircraft are also being used. The Lake Fire created enough force to make several "fire tornadoes" and while officials haven't confirmed if any homes have been destroyed, the blaze was seen reaching and burning several homes in the area. A tally of structure damage was not immediately available.

The area is no stranger to fires. In 2013, the Powerhouse Fire burned 30,000 acres but officials say a lot of the land involved in the Lake Fire hasn't burned since 1968. The Powerhouse Fire was caused by electrical power lines and took about 10 days to contain

The cause of the Lake Fire was unknown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Firefighters battled a fast-growing brush fire that quickly spread to 400 acres near Lake Hughes in the Angeles National Forest.


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The Lake Fire near Lake Hughes quickly exploded to 400 acres in the Angeles National Forest on Wednesday.

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