As Firefighters Battle Dozens Of Blazes, California’s Bobcat Fire Nears 100,000 Acres

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A firefighter works to put out flames of the Bobcat Fire in Juniper Hills, Calif. As of Sunday, the wildfire has grown to more than 99,000 acres and is 15% contained.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images


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Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A firefighter works to put out flames of the Bobcat Fire in Juniper Hills, Calif. As of Sunday, the wildfire has grown to more than 99,000 acres and is 15% contained.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

As firefighters work to contain dozens of wildfires raging across California and other western states, the Bobcat Fire is approaching nearly 100,000 acres, making it one of Los Angeles County’slargest-everblazes.

TheU.S. Forest Servicesays the Bobcat Fire has burned 99,428 acres and is 15% contained as of Sunday, two weeks after it first ignited. More than 1,600 emergency personnel are responding to the blaze, which has prompted a host ofevacuationorders.

According toCAL Fire, some 19,000 firefighters are currently battling 27 major wildfires across the state.

“California historically experiences some of the most devastating wildfires in the months of September and October,” Cal Fire said in its update. “Do not let your guard down!”

This wildfire season is provingparticularly destructive, having sparked five of the largest blazes in California’shistory.

More than total 7,900 wildfires have burned over 3.5 million acres of land in California this year. Fires have killed 26 people and destroyed more than 6,100 structures since mid-August. More recently, a firefighter waskilledin the El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County on Thursday.

TheEl Dorado Fireis 59% contained as of Sunday. While some wildfires — like the LNU Lightning Complex, SCU Lightning Complex and CZU Lightning Complex — are close to complete containment, others are largely uncontrolled.

Haze Spreads Across U.S. As Wildfires Continue To Tear Through The West

Officials at the Angeles National Forest, where the Bobcat Fire originated, said in atweeton Sunday that “active fire behavior” continues near the San Gabriel Wilderness Area.

The San Gabriel Mountains include Mount Wilson, where an observatory by the same name houses some of the most historically important telescopes in the world. The fire came within 500 feet of the observatorylast weekbefore crews fended it off.

Forest Service officials said that responders took steps to secure the area around Mt. Wilson on Saturday night, and are looking for ways to secure the line between the mountain and the nearby highway before weather conditions worsen.

“Brief critical fire weather conditions expected today and Monday across the #BobcatFire due to gusty onshore winds and low humidities,” the National Weather Servicetweeted. “This will likely bring additional fire growth and extreme fire behavior at times.”

The fire’sestimatedcontainment date is Oct. 3o.

According to theBureau of Land Management, roughly 85% of the country’s wildland firefighters are working in California, Oregon and Washington.

In Oregon, the state’s forestry department officialssaidon Sunday they are “closely monitoring” 10 major wildfires, down from 17.

The largest of those, theLionshead Fire, has burned 198,231 acres and is 10% contained.

Officials said roughly 1 million acres have burned in Oregon since the start of the year, nearly double the 10-year average.

Arecent turntoward rainy weather has helped with containment efforts in Oregon.

Doug Grafe, the chief of fire protection at the Oregon Department of Forestry, said in a Saturdayvideo briefingthat weekend rain, cooler temperatures during the day and decent humidity at night make for “favorable fire-fighting conditions,” and a potential storm front this coming week could provide additional relief.

“Overall, a very good spot for us to be in and folks are making great progress statewide,” Grafe said.

West Coast Fires: Climate, Forest Management, Lax Rules, Plenty Of Blame To Go Around

TheNational Interagency Fire Centersaid on Sunday that no new or contained large fires were reported across the country, and firefighters “continue to make headway towards their suppression goals.”

Its latest data show 22 large wildfires burning in California, 14 in Idaho, 12 in Oregon and eight in Washington, as well as several each in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

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