Crews battling California, Colorado wildfires – NBC News
Fires thrived Friday as a high-pressure system that brought excessive heat watches and warnings to 34 million people brought what was expected to be a weeklong heatwave in the West.
In California the Lake Fire, which began Wednesday afternoon on federal land about 63 miles north of Los Angeles, flared up again, consuming a total of 17,482 acres and destroying five structures, according to the National Forest Service.
By Friday evening, it was 12 percent contained. No injuries were reported, but multiple communities were under evacuation orders and several roads were closed.
The Ventura County Fire Department said on Twitter that crews were clearing a road so fire equipment could get to work on the Lake Fire when a bull started chasing them. No injuries were reported.
The National Weather Service recorded an afternoon temperature in the area of 103.
A new fire, the Ranch 2 Fire, broke out about 2:50 p.m. Friday in the Angeles National Forest above the city of Azusa, which is about 25 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, the Forest Service said.
It had consumed 1,500 acres, with no containment, the service said. Evacuations for one community, Mountain Cove, had been lifted by early Friday night.
Firefighters battling that blaze were working in temperatures as high as 108 degrees during the day, the service said. There were no reports of injuries or damaged structures.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection listed more than a dozen active fire incidents across the state Friday, although some were older that had not been completely contained.
In Colorado, the Grizzly Creek Fire, which started Monday afternoon on federal land about 226 miles west of Denver, expanded in the heat and was at 13,441 acres Friday evening, according to the National Forest Service.
No containment figure was released.
“The combination of dry vegetation, steep terrain and the Red Flag conditions of hot, dry weather and gusty winds have continued to drive fire growth,” the service said in a statement.
There were no reports of structures damaged or injuries. Residents were told to “stay aware” in case they need to leave without much notice, according to the Forest Service.
Temperatures were in the upper 80s Friday, the Forest Service said. The Grizzly Creek Fire was one of multiple blazes in the state.
Incident commander Marty Adel told reporters, “This fire will continue to burn for some time.”
Todd Miyazawa contributed.