Firefighters in California save American flag from Lake Fire flames

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 16, 2020

The so-called Lake Fire was just 12 percent contained as of Saturday morning, and after threatening more than 5,400 homes, it had charred more than 59.5 square kilometres of brush and trees.

Preliminary damage assessments found that at least five buildings burned in the Lake Hughes area north of Los Angeles, but authorities said they believed more had been damaged or destroyed.

There are more than 100 structures in the evacuation area, including primary residences and outbuildings, in the communities of Lake Hughes and Pine Canyon, officials said.

(Noah Berger/AP Photo) A Los Angeles County firefighter extinguishes hot spots at a scorched residence while battling the Lake Fire in the Angeles National Forest, Calif., north of Santa Clarita on August 13, 2020. The National Weather Service had warned that temperatures could hit 111 degrees in the Antelope Valley, and winds gusting 15-20 miles per hour were expected later in the afternoon.

Fanning the flames is this weekend's heat wave, with firefighters braced for dangerously hot weather that will make battling the fire more hard.

Light winds and scattered thundershowers early Thursday helped firefighters tame the flames somewhat but Friday's forecast is warning of "near critical" fire conditions because of the heat and possible gusty winds, officials added.

As about a half-dozen firefighters worked Friday to clear a remote road for engines working on the Lake Fire, about 63 miles north of Los Angeles, a bull chased them away. There also was a chance of isolated thunderstorms worsening the fire threat by creating dry lightning and strong downdrafts, fire officials said.

Azusa police said they were looking for a homeless man suspected of starting the fire.

Palencia was last known to be living in a riverbed encampment near the site where the fire started, according to a police statement.

Another blaze came dangerously close to a neighborhood in the city of Corona, east of Los Angeles, before crews controlled it.

The blaze, dubbed the Lake Fire, has scorched over 11,000 acres (4,451 hectares) and forced 250 people from their houses since erupting on Wednesday afternoon in the Angeles National Forest.

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