Firefighter Killed As Blazes Spread Near L.A., Threatening Suburban Communities, Palm Springs

bobcat fire
An air tanker drops it payload on he Bobcat Fire near L.A. U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service officials confirmed Friday that a firefighter has been killed battling the blazes north and east of Los Angeles.

The victim’s name was not released, but the death occurred Thursday while crews were fightling the El Dorado Fire, one of three threatening the area.

The El Dorado Fire near Yucaipa stands at 21,000 acres and 66% containment. It burned actively overnight and was spotting a half-mile ahead as crews fought to create defensible space around homes.

The Bobcat Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest grew by 5,000 acres overnight to 60,557 acres on Friday morning. It is 15% contained, which is up from Thursday, but the blaze is threatening homes on the north side of the forest.

Flames were actively backing and spotting downslope toward the foothill communities of Juniper Hills and Valyermo. They were 1.5 and 3.5 miles away from homes at the top of the slope. Fire officials say that “communities will be impacted very soon.”

Friday’s weather is expected to remain warm and very dry. Winds will be from the southwest and will be at their strongest on the northern ridges in the late afternoon and evening. Gusts are potentially 20-30 MPH on ridge tops and 10-15 MPH in valleys. Humidity will increase Saturday. Fire officials expect temperatures to allow the fire to burn actively through the night.

Around Mount Wilson, backfires seem to have created defensible space.

The U.S. Forest Service says crews there will continue to hold and improve the lines protecting the infrastructure why trying to keep the fire from spreading to the west around the mountain.

Meanwhile the Snow Fire, which ignited yesterday near Palm Springs, had grown from 600 to 2500 acres overnight and has prompted evacuations on Friday.

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