LAKE HUGHES (CBSLA) — Firefighters on Saturday were battling a massive blaze, called the Lake Fire, which erupted in the Lake Hughes three area days ago and continued to threaten nearby structures.READ MORE: Aiden Leos, Boy Killed In Road Rage Shooting, To Receive Memorial Plaque At Orange County Zoo
As of Friday night, the fire scorched nearly 17,500 acres in the Angeles National Forest. By Saturday, the acreage was downgraded to 14,714 and later flared back up to 17,862 acres as of 9:30 p.m., remaining at 12% containment.
Officials say the fire has destroyed at least 21 buildings and continues to threaten thousands more.
Fire officials were battling hot spots on Saturday, which they say emerged after more than 100 lightning strikes in the area.
High temperatures in the Lake Hughes area, which topped 106 degrees in the last few days, have made the firefight challenging for crews maneuvering through smoke in protective gear, face coverings and heavy equipment.READ MORE: Southland Braces For Triple-Digit Temperatures, Wildfire Risk
“Heat plays a huge factor in fire behavior. The fire stood up quite a bit and that was largely due to the slope and due to heat,” said Marc Peebles with the U.S. Forest Service. “The firefighters are working very hard out there but they are taking appropriate safety precautions, drinking lots of water and being methodical in their firefighting efforts.”
Evacuation orders were still in place in affected areas, which include:
• Lake Hughes Road West of Pine Canyon and North of Dry Gulch Rd.
• East of Ridge Route Road
• West of Lake Hughes Road and Fire Station 78
• North of Pine Canyon and Lake Hughes Road
• South of SR-138
Crews will continue to work throughout Saturday night and into the morning to get the fire under control and try to prevent other buildings from damages.MORE NEWS: No Masks Required For Fully Vaccinated Disneyland Guests Beginning Tuesday
A cause has not yet been determined for the Lake Fire, and no injuries were reported.