Los Angeles County Brush Fire Burns Over 12,000 Acres With Strong Winds Coming

Los Angeles County Brush Fire Burns Over 12,000 Acres With Strong Winds Coming

Firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and other firemen respond to the Post Fire as it burns through the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area in Lebec, Calif., on June 16, 2024. (David Swanson/AFP via Getty Images)

City News Service
City News Service

6/16/2024

Updated: 6/16/2024

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GORMAN, Calif.—A massive brush fire in the Gorman area north of Los Angeles that’s burned 12,265 acres was just 2 percent contained Sunday morning, June 16, with strong winds expected Sunday, state fire officials said.
The Post Fire was threatening nearby structures and prompted the evacuation of about 1,200 people from the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area. Pyramid Lake was also closed, and street closures were in place south of Ralphs Ranch Road at Quail Lake Road.
Two commercial properties were damaged and two were threatened, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The fire was moving southeast toward Lake Pyramid and pushing up into Hungry Valley Park on Sunday, and crews were working to construct perimeter lines around the fire flank.
The USDA Forest Service is in unified command with Angeles National Forest, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Ventura County Fire Department. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, California State Park Services, Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management, Cal Fire and California Highway Patrol were also providing support.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a wildfire smoke advisory for the Santa Clarita and Castaic areas, with northwesterly winds expected to push smoke from the fire southeast toward Santa Clarita, the San Fernando Valley and parts of the Angeles National Forest.
A National Weather Service wind advisory was in effect through 11 a.m. Sunday, but winds were expected to increase in strength from 9 p.m. to midnight, possibly reaching 65 mph at the ridge tops, according to the Angeles National Forest.
The Post Fire started at about 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Ralph’s Ranch and Gorman School roads, near the Golden State (5) Freeway, Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Chris Little told City News Service.
It was initially reported as a 500-acre brush fire but quickly grew to 2,000 acres by 4:45 p.m. and then 4,400 acres by 7:15 p.m. By midnight, it reached 10,504 acres.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. California Highway Patrol Officer D.C. Williams told KTLA5 that the fire ignited and burned vehicles in a McDonald’s parking lot and several at a nearby auto body shop. He added that wind gusts were causing the fire to repeatedly change directions.
No injuries have been reported.
Officials were urging residents to remain vigilant and be prepared to evacuate if more evacuation orders are issued.
L.A. County firefighters also battled a much smaller brush fire that started about 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Sierra Highway and Jonnie Drive in Agua Dulce, officials said. The CHP reported at 2:28 p.m. Saturday that the flames were no longer advancing and Sierra Highway was reopened in the area.
The SCAQMD advised people in the area to limit their exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed or by seeking immediate shelter, avoid vigorous physical activity and to run their air conditioners or air purifiers.
“It’s best to avoid using swamp coolers or whole house fans that bring in outside air,” the agency said. “Residents should also avoid burning wood in their fireplaces or firepits. And, if they absolutely must be outside, a properly fit N95 mask or P100 respirator may provide some protection.”
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