Evacuations ordered in 450-acre Pine Fire in Antelope Valley; at least 1 structure destroyed

Evacuations were ordered after a wind-driven brush fire broke out and consumed at least one structure in the Antelope Valley Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

The flames were reported around 1:30 p.m. in the area of Highway 138 and 248th Street East, southeast of the high desert communities of Palmdale and Llano, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

The blaze, dubbed the Pine Fire, covered about 450 acres and was 15% contained as of about 9 p.m. It had spread quickly east toward Pinon Hills and Phelan with the potential to reach 300 acres, but by evening crews were making progress in combating the blaze, firefighters said.

“Because of the wind out there, it has really spread this fire quickly in that incredibly dry scrub brush and light to medium brush,” said Jonathan Matheny, a public information officer for the Fire Department. 

An at about 4 p.m. for Pinon Hills residents east of Jubilee Road, west of Mountain Road, south of Highway 138 and north of Tamarack Road. The order covered around 100 homes, officials said.

An evacuation warning was also in place for residences south of Goss Road, north of Highway 138, east of Soledad Road and west of Oasis Road.

But as of 9 p.m., most evacuation orders were lifted, and only remained in place for "a small number of homes in Los Angeles County, west of Jubilee Road," Cal Fire and the L.A. County Fire Department said in a joint news release.

Those in need of assistance with evacuations can contact the American Red Cross at 323-374-3525.

Small animals could be taken to the Palmdale Animal Care Center, the county's shelter at 38550 Sierra Highway, and large animals were being accepted at the A.V. Fair and Event Center, at 2551 W. Avenue H in Lancaster.

Highway 138 was closed west of Oasis Road and east of 263rd Street East until further notice.

Around 2:45 p.m., Sky5 was above a pair of single-story homes and recreational vehicle whose property the fire had moved onto.

Crews worked to move structure defense into the area as the flames spread through vegetation, but by 3:10 p.m. at least one structure was being consumed. That building appeared to be a total loss.

Later in the afternoon, firefighters could be seen in the yards of homes, working to fend off encroaching embers. But shortly after 5 p.m., Sky5 was above what appeared to be a travel trailer or mobile home that was burned to the ground.

Several water-dropping helicopters and at least one air tanker were also involved in the firefight.

Forecasters had in the area on Tuesday, as offshore gusts brought warmer temperatures and lower humidities to L.A. County mountain areas and the Santa Clarita Valley. But no wind advisories or warnings were in place Wednesday.

Temperatures reached 85 degrees in the area of the fire Wednesday, while gusts were blowing at up to 30 mph along the top of the mountain ridge and up to 16 mph in the valley, according to the National Weather Service.

Gusty onshore winds and low humidity were expected to linger around the fire through the evening, NWS said.

The blaze was sending smoke into the San Gabriel Valley and across the Inland Empire, Angeles National Forest officials said.