New Southern California wildfire expected to linger for days

The Lake Fire burns in mountains north of Los Angeles, California, U.S. August 12, 2020. Los Angeles County Fire Air Ops/Handout via REUTERS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Southern California wildfire that engulfed more than 10,000 acres in less than a day was slowed on Thursday by light rains, but is still raging and will remain a formidable threat for several days, firefighters said.

No injuries or deaths have been linked to the Lake Fire, which broke out late on Wednesday in a section of the Angeles National Forest about 60 miles (97 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, but some evacuations have been ordered, they said.

“This will be a major fire for several days,” U.S. Forest Service regional Fire Chief Robert Garcia told reporters.

“The current weather that we started with this morning has helped buy us some time to get some relief crews out there and start developing some preventive control anchor points,” Garcia said.

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said the fire destroyed “several structures” of the more than 100 located in the evacuation area in the communities of Palmdale and Castaic.

“Many structures were saved because of the actions of the firefighters last night, who were up all night,” Osby said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, he added.

Officials said an expected return of hot, dry weather later on Thursday, combined with steep terrain in the wooded area, which loaded with dry brush, will continue to hamper the efforts of firefighters.

(Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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