Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Huge California wildfire threatening more than 1,000 homes

Published:Tuesday | September 22, 2020 | 9:16 AM
A fire crew from the Oregon Air National Guard douses hot spots on the fire lines of the Holiday Farm Fire, east of Springfield, Oregon, Monday, September 21, 2020. (Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A wildfire scorching its way through brush and timber from the mountains to the desert northeast of Los Angeles threatened more than 1,000 homes on Tuesday as crews across the West battled dozens of other major blazes.

The Bobcat Fire was advancing at a mile or two an hour at times and continued to threaten the Mojave Desert town of Pearblossom after burning into the Antelope Valley foothill area, on the other side of the San Gabriel Mountains from Los Angeles.

The blaze that began September  6 destroyed or damaged at least 29 homes and other buildings, including some in the Juniper Hills area, with the toll rising to perhaps 85 when damage assessment teams can complete their work this week, authorities said.

Cheryl Poindexter lost her desert home.

“That fire came over the hill so hard and fast that I turned around and I barely got my eight dogs and my two parrots out,” Poindexter told ABC7. “You can see everything is ash.”

Firefighters also battled flareups near Mount Wilson, which overlooks greater Los Angeles and has a historic observatory founded more than a century ago and numerous broadcast antennas serving Southern California.

The fire was fuelled by vegetation that hadn’t burned in decades and pushed by erratic winds over the weekend, although they had died down by Monday, and were expected to remain light through Tuesday.

Near Mount Wilson, firefighters set more than a mile of fires designed to burn out the blaze’s fuel and act as a brake on its advance.

However, with the fire only 13% contained, firefighters weren’t taking anything for granted. Officials revised the containment number down from 15% after the blaze grew.

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