The Bobcat Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest grew another 210 acres over the weekend, but the containment also increased and firefighters worked to douse flare-ups within lines of cleared brush and hard-to-reach areas, authorities said Monday.
As of Monday morning, the U.S. Forest Service reported the Bobcat Fire had charred 115,758 acres, and containment was at 88%, compared to 115,548 acres and 84% containment at 8 a.m. Sunday.
“Overnight, firefighters monitored and patrolled the active areas of the fire,” the USFS reported Monday. “Burning continued in the Valley Forge and Falls Canyon areas north of Mt. Wilson, within fire containment lines with no perimeter growth reported overnight. For the past few days, this interior island north of Mt. Wilson has produced a large amount of smoke and it will continue to consume internal acres within the control fire lines.”
The Bobcat Fire erupted on Sept. 6 near the Cogswell Dam and West Fork Day Use area northeast of Mt. Wilson and within the Angeles National Forest. The cause is still under investigation.
A half-dozen injuries have been reported, according to the USFS, which said 572 personnel were engaged in the firefighting effort as of Monday, with eight helicopters in use. The estimated full containment date for the fire is Oct. 30.
Firefighters earlier mounted a successful effort to protect Mt. Wilson, which is home not only to one of the crown jewels of astronomy but also to infrastructure that transmits cellphone signals and television and radio broadcasts for the greater Los Angeles area.
The blaze has destroyed 170 structures, including 87 residences, and damaged 47 structures, including 28 residences. The Nature Center at the Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area was destroyed, according to Los Angeles County parks officials.
A map, compiled from ongoing field damage inspection and subject to change, can be viewed at lacounty.gov/recovery/damage-inspection.
Affected residents can call 211 and make an appointment with the Local Assistance Center located at Palmdale High School, which will be open until Tuesday. Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, walk-ins are not permitted. Property tax relief, clean-up, repair and rebuilding information, mental health resources and help with replacing lost or damaged legal documents are all available.
The Red Cross evacuation centers at Palmdale High School and Santa Anita Park have closed, but anyone still needing assistance can call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 800-675-5799.
The fire was continuing to threaten some 6,000 structures in the foothills of the Antelope and San Gabriel valleys.
As of Monday, evacuation orders remained for residents:
— in Paradise Springs — south of Big Pines Highway, east of Devil’s Punchbowl, west of Largo Vista Road, and north of the forest;
— south and west of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon, east of Angeles Forest Highway, and north of Angeles Crest Highway; and
— residences along Angeles Crest Highway, between Angeles Forest Highway and Highway 39.
Evacuation warnings remained:
— south of Big Pines Highway, east of Largo Vista Road, west of 263rd Street East (county line), and north of the forest;
— south of Mt. Emma Road, north of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road, east of Angeles Forest Highway, and west of Pacifico Mountain; and
— East Fork Areas: Julius Klein Conservation Camp 19, Camp Williams and the River Community.
The following road closures were in effect:
— Big Santa Anita Road (the Chantry road);
— Big Pines Highway is open but Big Rock Creek Road remains closed;
— Highway 2 is from Big Pines to La Canada;
— Angeles Forest Highway from Aliso Canyon to Highway 2;
— Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road;
— Highway 39 above Old San Gabriel Canyon Road.
The Angeles National Forest, including campgrounds and day-use sites, remains closed until at least Thursday due to wildfire threat, with a prohibition in effect on the use of any ignition sources such as campfires or gas stoves.
Nearly three dozen members of California’s congressional delegation, including Rep. Judy Chu, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, wrote a letter to President Donald Trump last week urging him to support Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to respond to the wildfires raging in California, including the Bobcat Fire, which is burning in Chu’s district.