MONVROVIA (CBSLA) – Containment numbers for the Bobcat Fire, which has been burning for more than three weeks in the Angeles National Forest, jumped overnight, but crews will have to contend with another day of triple-digit temperatures on Thursday.
The Bobcat Fire, one of the largest in Los Angeles County history, burned 114,901 acres and is 75% contained as of Thursday morning. The fire destroyed at least 83 homes at the foot of Antelope Valley and damaged 28 more, according to the latest numbers from the US Forest Service.
Another 79 structures were destroyed and 19 damaged.
Evacuation orders remain in effect for Paradise Springs, Upper Big Tujunga Canyon and along the Angeles Crest Highway (State Route 2).
Just under 1,000 firefighters are still fighting the flames on the ground with the help of 14 water-throwing helicopters. A heat wave that forced the state of California to implement a Flex Alert is expected to bring triple-digit temperatures to different parts of Southland on Thursday along with a high fire hazard.
The Bobcat Fire, one of the largest in Los Angeles County history, erupted shortly after noon on Sept. 6 near the Cogswell Dam and West Fork Day Use area. The fire burns through dense vegetation and arid shrubs on steep terrain, some of which haven’t burned for more than 60 years.
He first threatened the San Gabriel foothills of Arcadia and Monrovia to the south, before turning his attention north to the Antelope Valley.
The fire also threatened the historic Mount Wilson Observatory for several days, but the crews were able to valiantly protect the facility.
Federal authorities are investigating whether a disturbance at a Southern California Edison substation could have caused the fire. Last week, SoCal Edison revealed that federal investigators are looking into a disturbance at a nearby substation that occurred minutes before the fire was reported.
The initial fire report was at 12:21 pm on September 6. The utility says that five minutes earlier, at 12:16, a substation circuit experienced a possible disturbance or event. Edison says the cameras captured smoke developing in the area around 12:10 pm, prior to activity on the Edison circuit.
Angeles National Forest is one of California’s seven national forests that remains closed to the public due to wildfires. The closure will last at least until 8 October. All 18 California National Forests were closed for a significant portion of September, but many have since reopened.