California Fire Erupts Near Angeles National Forest, Burns 10,000 Acres In Several Hours

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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A California wildfire that erupted Wednesday afternoon near Angeles National Forest has burned down more than 10,000 acres in less than a day, officials said.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department said the fire was initially feeding on chaparral and other brush before moving into heavier forest on top of ridges, Fox News reported. “It’s pretty explosive fire behavior,” county Fire Chief Eric Garcia said during a nighttime news conference Wednesday.

The blaze first broke out in the foothills of the national forest located roughly 65 miles north of Los Angeles. The fire was dubbed “Lake Fire” by residents and local officials because of its proximity to Lake Hughes, according to Fox 11.

Fire tornadoes were sighted by local news as winds accelerated the growth of the flames, Fox News reported. A “firenado” occurs when a gust of extremely hot air blows through the fire at a certain angle and produces a spinning momentum sucking up embers and surrounding debris.

County firefighters began assisting local crews to combat the growing flames but the Los Angeles County sheriff’s office made the order to begin evacuating local residents after the fire grew to 6,000 acres Wednesday evening, Fox News reported.

The most recent statement released Wednesday night by the county fire department said fire suppression, air operations, evacuations and structure defense operations continued throughout the night. County officials also said the fire is currently 0% contained.

A number of roads have been closed down and county officials set up shelters and evacuation points for nearby residents as nearly 100 homes were reported to have been destroyed, according to the Los Angeles Times. (RELATED: California Wildfire Explodes To More Than 20,000 Acres In 3 Days, Forcing Thousands To Evacuate)

Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief David Richardson said the cause of the fire remains under investigation during a nighttime news conference Wednesday.