The Bobcat Fire, which has burned nearly 46,300 acres in Angeles National Forest and surrounding areas, this week forced the evacuation of residents in parts of Los Angeles County’s unincorporated Juniper Hills.
Authorities on Wednesday issued the evacuation order, according to the Los Angeles Daily News, which came after firefighters managed to stave off flames that threatened Mt. Wilson Observatory. Flames reached as close as 500 feet from the observatory.
The Bobcat Fire is among the 10 largest wildfires statewide in terms of acres burned, and that is currently burning, the Los Angeles Times reported. There are about two dozen fires across California.
L.A. County Fire Captain David Dantic said that the dry brush and steep terrain of the national forest and surrounding areas make for an erratic fire. The blaze was 3 percent contained as of Thursday, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Nearly 1,300 personnel are fighting the fire.
Nearly 6,000 structures across the state have been destroyed or damaged in wildfires this year, according to CalFire.
California homeowners in fire-prone areas have had an increasingly hard time finding insurance for their properties over the last few years. With few other options, more homeowners have turned to the state’s high-cost FAIR Plan insurance program for coverage. [LADN, LAT] — Dennis Lynch