The California Lake Fire has burned through over 27,000 acres of forestry in the past eight days and Los Angeles County has declared a state of emergency in response to the crisis, according to local outlet The Signal.
Lake Fire started at 3:40 p.m. on August 12 and quickly grew to 10,000 acres at 0% containment in a matter of several hours. Over the next six days, it grew to 18,000 acres and was 31% contained in the Angeles National Forest.
The latest update from the Angeles National Forest service indicates that Lake Fire has reached a total of 27,000 acres and is at 48% containment.
8/12 9:00 pm #LakeFire Update
The #LakeFire is currently at 10,000 acres w/0% containment & mandatory evacs in place.
— LACoFD (@LACOFD) August 13, 2020
In total, over 2000 emergency fire personnel are responding to Lake Fire with the help of 213 engines, 27 hand crews, 41 dozers, 22 water tenders, and 13 helicopters, according to a Wednesday evening update from the cooperating agencies.
Lake Fire is threatening 1300 structures, has already destroyed 12, damaged six, and destroyed 11 outbuildings, according to the Wednesday update. One injury to fire personnel has been reported.
Crews are responding to the fire with “retardant drops… made by fixed-wing [aircrafts] to slow the spread as the fire [burns] in steep and inaccessible terrain,” according to the update. Further, they are using “tactical firing operations to help establish containment lines.”
Personnel are reportedly being “challenged with high temperatures, critically dry fuels and drought-stressed trees.”
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday to ratify a motion to declare a state of emergency in L.A. county that will enable the county to procure the necessary supplies, resources, and funding to respond to the Lake Fire crisis, reported The Signal.
“The Lake Fire has been fast-moving and tenacious, fueled by unforgiving terrain and burned 10,000 acres in just under four hours with minimal wind conditions,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger said during the meeting. “I’m grateful for the tireless hard work and dedication of the firefighters in the Los Angeles County Fire Department, along with the U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire.”
The South Coast Air Quality Management District also issued a smoke advisory on August 17 detailing areas that are affected by smoke from Lake Fire and offering advice to residents on how to protect themselves from the smoke.
“If you can see smoke, soot, or ash, or you can smell smoke, pay attention to your immediate environment and take precautions to safeguard your health,” Health Officer for L.A. County Muntu Davis said. “These precautions are particularly important for children, older adults, and people with heart or lung diseases.”
The Angeles National Forest where the Lake Fire is burning is made up of 700,000 acres of forest and provides a space for recreational activities, research, wildlife, and other activities, according to the Lake Fire incident page.
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