Cameron Peak Fire starts near Chambers Lake in western Larimer County

Elias Hubbard
August 14, 2020

The blaze exploded in size within hours on brushy ridges, including some areas that had not burned since 1968, fire officials said. No injuries were reported.

Fires have engulfed 10,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest near Lake Hughes, 60 miles north of Los Angeles, California, with mandatory evacuations in place for the area.

The area was expected to have temperatures Thursday in the mid-90s (about 35 Celsius) or higher through the weekend, with low humidity.

"It's pretty explosive fire behavior", county Fire Chief Eric Garcia said, noting that more firefighters were arriving to join a team of 500 from several departments, 15 helicopters and air tankers, to fight the wildfire.

Officials warned that containing the Lake fire - which started in the Angeles National Forest near the 5 Freeway on Wednesday and rapidly roared through stands of pine trees - will be a lengthy and arduous process.

The fire was reported Thursday afternoon and Cameron Pass on Highway 14 was shut down at mile post 61 at 3:30. p.m., according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

The fire had a "rapid rate of spread", and the ANF and county fire departments called in second-alarm responses.

The fire was being driven by tinder-dry brush and steep terrain but its ferocity approached that of wind-driven blazes that usually erupt when Santa Ana winds arrive in the next few months, Richardson said.

More than 100 structures are within the evacuation area but there was no primary evidence of loss or damage, the fire department said.

Shelter areas were set up but, because of concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic, people were being told to shelter in their cars. Evacuation centers have also been organized for small and large animals at the Antelope Valley and Castaic Fairgrounds - you can find the addresses listed here. Two homes have been destroyed. The battle is made more hard by rugged terrain and thick vegetation that, in some areas, hasn't burned in several decades.

As of about 11:30 pm, evacuation orders had been issued for residents south of Highway 138 and north of Pine Canyon Road and Lake Hughes Road.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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