A wind-driven brush fire prompted evacuations Wednesday near the Llano area, east of Palmdale, and destroyed at least one structure, but crews appeared to be gaining the upper hand late Wednesday afternoon.
The Pine Fire erupted for unknown reasons about 1:30 p.m. in a sparsely populated rural area near the Antelope (138) Highway and 248th Street East, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. As of 4:45 p.m., crews estimated the three-alarm blaze at 180 acres, with the potential to blacken about 300 acres, with zero containment.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued about 3:35 p.m. for the areas of Antelope Highway to Pine View Road and Buchanan Road to Smoke Tree Road. About 100 homes were evacuated, according to a statement from CalFire.
Highway 138 was closed in both directions between 263rd Street and Oasis Road due to the fire, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
The flames were driven eastward toward Pinon Hills and Phelan by winds blowing at about 18 mph, according to reports from the scene.
At least one structure was engulfed by flames, KTLA, flying overhead, showed footage of a metal-roofed structure, possibly a residence, ablaze shortly before 3 p.m.
About 250 firefighters were fighting the flames, with help from several water-dropping helicopters and two air tankers.
Winds about 6 to 10 miles per hour, with 23- to 26-mile-per-hour gusts, coupled with low humidity, were expected in the area into the evening hours, according to the National Weather Service.