First major fire of the year burns in Los Angeles area

First major fire of the year burns in Los Angeles area
First major fire of the year burns in Los Angeles area

(Gorman) High winds pushed flames through dry brush into the mountains along Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles on Sunday.



Updated at 6:23 a.m.

Ryan Sun

Associated Press

Authorities warned residents in the path of the fire to prepare to leave if its size explodes again.

Los Angeles County’s first major wildfire of the year quickly expanded to more than 60 square kilometers, a day after forcing the evacuation of at least 1,200 campers, off-roaders and hikers from the Hungry Valley Recreation Area.

The fire, nicknamed Post Fire, was only 2% contained. No injuries were reported. The cause was under investigation.

Firefighters working in sweltering conditions and steep terrain scrambled to put out fires that erupted when unpredictable winds blew embers in front of the flames, said Kenichi Haskett, section chief of the County Fire Department. Los Angeles.

The gusts also hampered efforts by plane crews to drop water and fire retardants, he said.

“When it’s windy, it sprays water everywhere we don’t need it. So it’s a challenge,” Mr. Haskett said.

Meanwhile, in Northern California, a small wildfire that started Sunday triggered evacuation orders and warnings for a sparsely populated area near Lake Sonoma.

The fire that was named the Point Fire emitted a huge plume of black smoke as it spread through brush and woods about 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of San Francisco. It was 15% contained.

The Southern California fire broke out Saturday afternoon near I-5 in Gorman, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.

The flames were heading toward Pyramid Lake, a popular destination for boaters that was closed as a precaution on Father’s Day. No homes were threatened Sunday, but authorities warned residents of Castaic, where about 19,000 people live, that they should prepare to leave if the fire spreads further south.

“If you are in a warning zone, be prepared with a “travel bag”, night clothes and your cell phone, medication, glasses. Fill up your car,” Haskett said. “Be prepared to evacuate. »

Low humidity and gusts of around 50 mph were expected throughout the day, and winds could pick up after sunset, the National Weather Service office in Los Angeles warned.

About 75 miles (120 kilometers) to the east, the 2-square-mile Hesperia Fire forced road closures and triggered evacuation warnings after erupting Saturday near mountain communities in West Virginia County. San Bernardino. The fire was 19% contained as of Sunday evening.

Associated Press writer Christopher Weber in Los Angeles and radio reporter Julie Walker in New York contributed to this report.

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