Bobcat Fire spreads to 93,842 acres nearly 2 weeks after erupting in San Gabriel Mountains; homes remain threatened

Several areas in the Angeles National Forest remained under evacuation orders as containment of the blaze held at 15%.

Amy Powell Image
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Bobcat Fire spreads to 93K acres; evacuation orders remain
Nearly two weeks after it erupted, the blaze was pushed by 30-mph winds as it continued its march across the San Gabriel Mountains.

JUNIPER HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- After destroying multiple homes and threatening the Mount Wilson Observatory and nearby broadcast towers, the Bobcat Fire has spread to 93,842 acres in the Angeles National Forest and Antelope Valley, officials announced Saturday.

Nearly two weeks after it erupted on Sept. 6, the blaze on Friday was pushed by 30-mph winds as it continued its march across the San Gabriel Mountains and burned semi-rural properties in the community of Juniper Hills. Ferocious winds have almost doubled the blaze in size in just over a day.

Firefighters protected homes and chased spot fires sparked by embers blown across neighborhoods by erratic gusts. Surrounding areas were under evacuation orders and residents of ranches scrambled to get horses and other animals out.

"We've got a very active firefight on the north end of this fire and we're bringing in more strike teams. We'll be in this firefight for some time," Los Angeles County Fire Captain David Dantic Friday evening. The blaze was also expanding on the eastern and western edges, officials said.

RELATED: Bobcat Fire: Flames edge closer to Mount Wilson, a landmark of modern technology

The Bobcat Fire is within 500 feet of Mount Wilson, home to SoCal's TV towers and an observatory where 20th century astrophysics was pioneered.

Wyatt Stephenson helped his friend evacuate his home at the top of Juniper Hills.

"We were waiting for the fire to come over the ridge. When it finally came over, we got him out of there," Stephenson said. "We found out later that his house burned. The fire just burned everything."

It wasn't immediately clear how many homes were burned in the fire zone, which stretched across a wide swath between the San Gabriel and Antelope valleys. No injuries have been reported.

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Evacuation orders were in effect for residents:

-- North of Angeles Crest North and between Clear Creek Station and Hwy 39

-- East of Devils Punch Bowl Road, South of the Big Pines Hwy, North of the Big Rock Creek, and West of Jackson Lake

-- South of Pearblossom Hwy (SR138), North of Big Pines, East of 165th and West of Largo Vista Road

-- North of Fort Tejon Road, South of Avenue V, East of 87th E., West of 121 St E.

-- South of Avenue 12, North of Aqueduct, West of 165 St E and East of 121 St E.

-- South of Fort Tejon Road, North of Cooley Place, East of 89th St. E. and West of Longview Road

-- North of Pallett Creek, South of W. 114th St., East of Longview Road and West of 165th St.

-- 96th east to 116th St. E/Fort Tejon Road south to SR 2

-- 116th E to Devils Punchbowl Road/Fort Tejon Road to SR 2

-- Devils Punchbowl Road to and including Fenner Camp

-- Fenner Camp to intersection of SR 2 and Big Pines

-- Chilao, the CalTrans Yard, the 3 Points area and the Angeles Crest Christian Camp and the Crystal Lake area.

-- South of 138th St East, North of Big Pine Hwy and Hwy 2, West of 263rd East, East of Largo Vista Rd.

Around 8 p.m. on Saturday, an evacuation warning was issued for South of Pearblossom Hwy, East and North of Angeles Forest Hwy, North and West of Mt. Emma Rd., East and South of Hwy 122, and West of Cheseboro Rd.

Evacuation warnings were lifted in Monrovia, Bradbury, Sierra Madre, Arcadia and Duarte. Fire crews from those areas believe the Bobcat Fire is no longer a potential threat to residents, officials said.

The cause of the wildfire is under investigation.


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