The fast-moving Lake Fire in the Lake Hughes area reached 10,500 acres and destroyed three structures overnight, with zero containment reported Thursday morning.
Overnight, firefighters continued to provide structure defense both on the ground and with aerial support, with initial assessments confirming that a total of at least three structures had been destroyed by morning.
A morning incident report called the blaze “extreme and aggressive fire behavior,” which was influenced by the steep topography.
A bit of rain gave firefighters some relief Thursday morning, though temperatures were expected to rise to the 90s to 100s throughout the day, along with low relative humidity and drying fuels, creating elevated fire weather conditions.
More than 1,000 fire personnel were assigned to the blaze Thursday, while current objectives included keeping the fire north of Castaic Lake, south of Highway 138, east of Red Rock Mountain and west of Tule Ridge.
Los Angeles County Fire Department and Angeles National Forest personnel first responded to reports of a brush fire just after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, near the intersection of Lake Hughes Road and Elizabeth Lake Road.
Within 15 minutes of the original report of a fire, the blaze had reportedly grown to 50 acres, and within 45 minutes had grown to 400 acres with the potential to grow to 1,000 acres, according to L.A. County Fire Department officials.
Dubbed the Lake Fire, by 5:30 p.m., Marvin Lim of the L.A. County Fire Department confirmed the fire had grown to 6,000 acres, with multiple structures threatened, and an hour later, Angeles National Forest officials reported the fire to be at 10,000 acres.
The fast-spreading fire was approximately 20 miles north of the city of Santa Clarita at the initial report, with National Weather Service meteorologist Lisa Phillips reporting Wednesday night that the 18-25 mph winds coming from the southwest were pushing the fire northeast, and though an overnight wind shift was expected, it’d be pushing the fire away from the SCV.
Late Wednesday, fire officials said the blaze was unlikely to come into the Castaic area, where officials from numerous agencies were staging a command center in response to the blaze.
During an 8:30 p.m. news conference held at Castaic Lake, Chief Deputy of Emergency Operations David Richardson confirmed the fire had split in two directions: one heading toward Pine Canyon and the other heading toward Lake Hughes.
“You may get a slight down canyon breeze tonight, but it’s not anything that’s going to drive that fire down into this area,” Richardson said, referring to Castaic.
Both Angeles National Forest and L.A. County firefighter crews were assisting one another in battling the blaze, with air units circling above dropping water and fire retardant Wednesday, efforts which continued through the night with night-flying helicopters, while air tankers are expected to resume operations Thursday.
The fire resulted in evacuations of residents in the area, east of Ridge Route Road, west of Lake Hughes Road and Fire Station 78, north of Pine Canyon and Lake Hughes Road, and south of Highway 138, with SCV Sheriff’s Station deputies dispatched to the area to assist with evacuations.
By Thursday morning, firefighters reported that the Lake Fire was actively burning in an area where the fire history is nearly 100 years old.
Road closures remained in effect Thursday morning, including San Francisquito Canyon Road from Stater Lane to Spunky Canyon, 3 Points Road and Old Ridge Route from Highway 138 to Pine Canyon Road, and Lake Hughes Road from Ridge Route Road to Pine Canyon.
Signal Staff Writer Caleb Lunetta contributed to this report.