HomeNewsLocalCrews Make Progress Surrounding Massive Brush Fire in Gorman Area

Crews Make Progress Surrounding Massive Brush Fire in Gorman Area


GORMAN (CNS) – Dangerous conditions, a combination of high winds and low humidity, are creating red flag warnings Tuesday in the area surrounding the wildfire near Gorman that has consumed more than 15,000 acres.

Winds are expected to die down Tuesday, between 25 and 45 mph according to the National Weather Service, and could lead to the spread of the wildfire along the 5 Freeway corridor in north Los Angeles County.

Despite strong winds and dry conditions, fire crews made significant progress in surrounding a massive brush fire in the Gorman area north of Los Angeles Monday, with containment growing from 20% to 24% Tuesday.

Late-afternoon mapping by fire crews put the size of the blaze at 15,611 acres, roughly the same as it was Monday morning.

The sharp increase in containment provided some positive news about the success crews were making to halting the spread of the blaze, but dangerous conditions conducive to wildfire spread were expected to persist into Tuesday.

A red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service will remain in place until 6 p.m. Tuesday for the 5 Freeway corridor due to strong winds and low humidity. Wind gusts of 35 to 55 mph were forecast, increasing to 60 mph during the overnight hours Monday. But forecasters said winds the area should gradually decrease Tuesday to 25 to 45 mph.

A red flag warning will also be in effect in the western San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway corridor.

The blaze is being battled by a unified command that includes the U.S. Forest Service, Angeles National Forest, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Ventura County Fire Department. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, California State Park Services, Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management, Cal Fire and California Highway Patrol were also providing support.

The Post Fire was threatening nearby structures and prompted the evacuation of about 1,200 people from the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area. The wind continued pushing the flames south toward Pyramid Lake, which was also closed, and street closures were in place south of Ralphs Ranch Road at Quail Lake Road.

An evacuation warning was in place for areas of south of Pyramid Lake between Old Ridge Route and the Los Angeles County line, including Paradise Ranch Estates.

One commercial property was destroyed in the Post Fire, while 10 were threatened, along with 50 single-family residences, fire officials said.

Cal Fire was officially reporting one injury from the fire as of Monday night, although no details were released. Fire officials earlier had said two adults and one child suffered minor injuries and were taken by ambulances to hospitals for treatment, fire officials said.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a wildfire smoke advisory for the Santa Clarita and Castaic areas, with northwesterly winds expected to push smoke from the fire southeast toward Santa Clarita, the San Fernando Valley and parts of the Angeles National Forest.

The SCAQMD advised people in the area to limit their exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed or by seeking immediate shelter, avoid vigorous physical activity and to run their air conditioners or air purifiers.

“It’s best to avoid using swamp coolers or whole house fans that bring in outside air,” the agency said. “Residents should also avoid burning wood in their fireplaces or firepits. And, if they absolutely must be outside, a properly fit N95 mask or P100 respirator may provide some protection.

The Post Fire started at about 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Ralph’s Ranch and Gorman School roads, near the Golden State (5) Freeway, Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Craig Little told City News Service.

It was initially reported as a 500-acre brush fire but quickly grew to 2,000 acres by 4:45 p.m. and then 4,400 acres by 7:15 p.m. By midnight Saturday night, it reached 10,504 acres.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. California Highway Patrol Officer D.C. Williams told KTLA5 that the fire ignited and burned vehicles in a McDonald’s parking lot and several at a nearby auto body shop. He added that wind gusts were causing the fire to repeatedly change directions.

Officials were urging residents to remain vigilant and be prepared to evacuate if more evacuation orders are issued.

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