Lake Fire Continues to Burn Near Big Bear

Firefighters on Friday were making slow progress against a wildfire that has scorched more than 20 square miles in the San Bernardino Mountains south of Big Bear Lake, prompting mandatory evacuations and a smoke advisory, reports KTLA 5.

Some 400 structures were threatened by the Lake Fire, which was 10 percent contained as of 8 a.m., according to the multiagency website InciWeb. No injuries or structural damages have been reported.

Fueled by grass and dense, old-growth timber, the fire has spread at a moderate pace since it was reported about 4 p.m. Wednesday, burning east of Camp De Benneville Pines and south of Jenks Lane Road, the website said.

Lyn Sielet, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service, told the Los Angeles Times that the drought-driven fire was consuming thousands of trees as it moved east through forestland, in an area where no fires have been reported in 104 years of recording-keeping.

The acreage estimate jumped from about 100 to 10,000 acres over the course of Thursday, and then up to 13,000 acres — or more than 20 square miles — by Friday evening.

About 1,335 firefighters and support personnel were on the scene, backed up by 88 engines, an air tanker, 10 helicopters and three water tenders, officials said.

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