Fire burns thousands of acres in LA County ahead of heatwave

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An afternoon bushfire in rural Los Angeles County quickly burned 10,000 acres and sent a plume of smoke that could be seen from city beaches 65 miles away.

The lake fire on federal lands in the unincorporated community of Lake Hughes, about 63 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, was first reported at 3:40 p.m., the US said. Forest Service in a press release.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said about 100 homes needed to be evacuated. The Los Angeles Red Cross said it has organized a temporary evacuation point, a high school where residents are expected to stay in their parked cars.

Several roads have been closed.

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The fire quickly spread from 50 acres to 10,000 by 6:30 p.m., according to the forest service. There was no containment. Several structures have been threatened, forest service officials said.

As the sun set, firefighters struggled with erratic winds, and by nightfall they were trying to create fire breaks to protect homes in the area, officials said at a conference of evening press.

The temperature in the early evening was 88 degrees, the winds were from the southwest at 8 to 16 mph and the humidity was at a low 17 percent, National Weather Service meteorologist Lisa Phillips said.

The drought would continue overnight and winds are expected to increase to 25 mph, she said. Temperatures were expected to drop to around 70. A heat wave with triple-digit highs for areas like Lake Hughes was due to start on Friday.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department early Wednesday night asked at least 420 more firefighters to join the front lines.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement it was sending two strike teams, including a third from the Culver City, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica Municipal Fire Departments.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said the evacuations would impact residents of the Lake Hughes Road area west of Pine Canyon Road and south of Dry Gulch Road. It was not immediately clear how many residents were affected.

There were no reports of injuries or damaged houses.



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