California Fire Map, Update As Bobcat Blaze Rapidly Spreads in 'Several Directions'

There are currently 26 major wildfires in California and three "extended attack wildfires" across the state, according to the latest report Thursday from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

Several fires are largely uncontained, including the Bobcat Fire in Los Angeles County, which has seen elevated fire activity in multiple directions, the department reported.

"There is increased fire behavior in the north, east and west of the #BobcatFire. Strong winds on the western perimeter are pushing the fire [in] several directions, crews and equipment continue to work on picking up spots with assistance from aircraft as weather allows," the Angeles National Forest posted on its official Twitter account Thursday.

Cal Fire said: "While progress was made on a number of fires, several others saw growth due to increased fire behavior and firing operations. Yesterday [Wednesday], firefighters responded to 22 initial attack wildfires across the stat."

A Red Flag Warning remains in place over the eastern Sierra region from Modoc County in the north down to Mono County in the south "for gusty winds and low humidity, bringing critical fire weather conditions to the area," the department added.

#RedFlagWarning & #FireWeatherWatch for Modoc County down through the Eastern Sierra. In effect Thursday afternoon until Saturday morning due to gusty winds and low humidity. This is #CriticalFireWeather so use caution outdoors. More tips:

— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) September 17, 2020

Around 7,900 wildfires have burned over 3.4 million acres of California so far this year, with 25 reported deaths and nearly 5,400 structures destroyed since August 15 when fire activity was elevated, according to Cal Fire's latest report.

Here are the latest updates on some of the current major fires across the state.

Bobcat Fire

  • Location: Los Angeles County
  • Acres: 55,617
  • Containment: 9 percent

The Bobcat Fire continues to burn with "a rapid rate of spread," with "active fire growth" reported Thursday in the north end of the blaze where it reached the community of Juniper Hills and its surrounding communities, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group's (NWCG) latest report published on Friday

Crews continued to work hard to protect infrastructure around Mount Wilson where fire activity remained active, while downslope winds were reported to have pushed the fire east around the San Gabriel Reservoir.

Evacuation orders remain in place north of Angeles Crest North and between Clear Creek Station and Highway 39, Juniper Hills, the Devil's Punchbowl area within the Angeles National Forest, Paradise Springs, as well as the areas east of Devil's Punch Bowl Road, south of the Big Pines Highway, north of the Big Rock Creek and west of Jackson Lake.

Evacuation warnings are in effect for the foothill communities of Wrightwood, Monrovia, Bradbury, Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Altadena, Duarte and Pasadena, as well as for residents north of Foothill Boulevard and east of Santa Anita Avenue.

The current projected containment date is set for October 30, however the NWCG has warned that there is a "critical need" for more resources to help fight the fire.

This morning the #BobcatFire is at 50,539 acres with 3% containment and 1,285 personnel. It did cross Hwy 2 near junction with Hwy 39. New evacuation warnings have been issued to the north.

— Angeles_NF (@Angeles_NF) September 17, 2020

August Complex Fire

  • Location: Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity counties
  • Acres: 839,175
  • Containment: 30 percent
  • Structures threatened: 13,926

The August Complex Fire, which is divided across three zones—North, South and West—is the largest wildfire in California history and one of the largest fires in U.S. history.

The West Zone fire has grown to 80,080 acres, with seven percent contained, Cal Fire said in its latest report Thursday.

The blaze made "active runs in the southern portion, with spotting, uphill runs and torching when it was aligned with drainages and topography," and the potential for active fire behavior continued through Thursday evening, Cal Fire's report noted.

The North Zone was reported to have a "slow, steady, active fire spread," while the southwest portion of the fire in the South Zone is expected to remain active, with increased fire behavior expected as southwest winds clear smoke from the area, the NWCG reported.

Evacuation orders and warnings remain in effect across multiple parts of Humboldt and Lake counties. See Cal Fire's full report for more information.

Daily Fire Update.The #augustcomplexsouthzone continues to steadily spread toward the southwest while containment increases on the eastern side. Containment of the complex remains at 30 percent. To view a larger version of the map

— Mendocino NF (@MendocinoNF) September 17, 2020

North Complex Fire

  • Location: Yuba, Plumas and Butte counties
  • Acres: 284,437
  • Containment: 40 percent
  • Fatalities: at least 15

The West Zone of the fire has grown to 78,750 acres, with 40 percent contained. Strong winds caused increased fire activity in some parts of the fire. "A cold front is expected to move across the incident tonight and into early Friday morning with much cooler conditions with higher humidities and minimal winds," Cal Fire noted in its latest report.

Progress on containment continued Thursday from the Sly Creek Reservoir to the Little Grass Valley area in the South Zone of the fire, as well as on spot fires in the North Zone located north of Red Mountain and Willow Creek, including a large spot fire near Grizzly Lake.

The evacuation warning for Meadow Valley and Tollgate was updated to an evacuation order by the Plumas County Sheriff's Office, while evacuation orders and warnings remain for the communities in Butte, Plumas, and Yuba counties. Cal Fire has advised residents in impacted areas to check their respective county sheriff's office website for the latest information on evacuations.

Creek Fire

  • Location: Fresno and Madera counties
  • Acres: 246,756
  • Containment: 20 percent
  • Structures threatened: 9,438

In Fresno County, the fire continued to actively burn Thursday morning in various parts of the fire area, mostly burning near Huntington Lake in the Mount Tom area, while fire behavior declined in the afternoon, Cal Fire said on Thursday.

"If the fire moves east and north from the southernmost portion of the fire into Blue Canyon towards the threatened communities around Bretz Hill Road, additional structure damage could be realized," its report warned.

In Madera County, the west side of the fire was expected to remain active through Thursday night, helped by southwest winds gusting to 20 miles per hour (mph). Active fire conditions are also expected for Friday due to poor overnight moisture recovery. The areas most impacted by the fire include Browns Meadow, Globe Rock, Jackass Meadow, Clover Meadow and Granite Creek.

Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks were closed to visitors from Thursday "due to the current air quality and unhealthy smoke conditions.

"Despite poor overnight moisture recovery, relative humidity will increase leading into the night tomorrow [Friday] as a cold front moves into the area. Gusty winds will be present Friday with light showers possible. Winds will predominantly come from the southwest and will be the strongest at higher elevations," the report added.

Evacuation warnings and road closures are in place in parts of Fresno and Madera counties. See Cal Fire's full report for details.

Slater/Devil Fires

  • Location: Siskiyou County
  • Acres: 149,999
  • Containment: 10 percent
  • Fatalities: 2

The Slate and Devil fires are in California and a portion of Oregon. The Slater Fire has now burned around 143,092 acres and is 10 percent contained, while the Devil Fire has reached around 6,907 acres, with zero percent contained.

"The heavy smoke inversion lifted late afternoon yesterday [Wednesday] over the North Zone of the Slater Fire, causing increased fire activity, but fire personnel were able to maintain control lines in and around Illinois Valley," according to the NWCG on Thursday.

Over in the South Zone of the fire, "a low-pressure system crossed over the Slater Fire area from west to east, clearing smoke out and increasing fire activity yesterday afternoon into last night.

"Air quality is expected to improve around Happy Camp today, although smoke levels are predicted to remain unhealthy," the NWCG warned.

Evacuation orders and warnings are in effect in different parts of Siskiyou County as well as in Del Norte and Josephine counties. See the full NWCG report for more information.

Today 17,400 firefighters are battling 26 major wildfires statewide. The latest numbers on all active wildland fires at:

— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) September 17, 2020

SQF Complex Fire

  • Location: Tulare County
  • Acres: 122,835
  • Containment: 12 percent
  • Structures threatened: 3,183

The SQF Complex Fire in the Sequoia National Forest consists of the Castle and Shotgun fires. Most of the Castle Fire is within the Sequoia National Forest, while some of it is burning in the Inyo National Forest. A large portion of the Castle Fire is burning in the Golden Trout Wilderness area, which spans both national forests.

In the eastern zone of the Castle Fire, the blaze was reported to be continuing south toward the communities of Ponderosa, Camp Nelson, and Pyles Camp and moving down Slate Mountain to the south and east. Active fire behavior was reported to be likely to resume through Thursday night, according to the latest report Friday by the NWCG.

Active fire was also reported to be going through the last unburned section in the Freeman Grove, the report said.

In the west zone of the Castle Fire, "fire activity continues to be moderated by the dense smoke and inversion layer, producing understory burning effects. When the inversion lifts, dangerous rates of spread are being observed through dense old growth brush that is over 10 feet tall," it added.

The SQF Complex Fire will continue to grow primarily to the south and west. "RH [relative humidity] recoveries in the teens will allow for critical burning conditions through the night. These conditions along with forecasted weather conditions can produce another large growth day," the report warned.

Dolan Fire

  • Location: Monterey County
  • Acres: 125,559
  • Containment: 40 percent

Shading from upper-level smoke continued to moderate fire activity on the inland portion of the Dolan Fire. "Any thinning of the smoke layer leads to increased fire growth and activity, especially when southerly winds align with topography. On the coastal side of the fire, the marine layer has minimized fire behavior," the latest NWCG report Friday noted.

In the next day or so, "the main concern will be the impacts of north winds on suppression actions on the south side of the fire," the report added.

Evacuation orders and road closures are in effect across parts of Monterey County. See Cal Fire's latest report for details.

Other fires

  • El Dorado in San Bernardino, Riverside counties: 19,098 acres; 66 percent contained
  • Red Salmon Complex in Humboldt County: 99,310 acres; 17 percent contained
  • Slink Fire in Mono County: 26,752 acres; 71 percent contained
  • Blue Jay Fire in Mariposa County: 4,061 acres; 40 percent contained
  • Fork Fire in El Dorado County: 1,752 acres; 53 percent contained
  • Rattlesnake Fire in Tulare County: 1,596 acres; 0 percent contained

For the latest up-to-date information on these fires and others in the state, visit the Cal Fire website.

Bobcat Fire, Juniper Hills, California September 2020
The Bobcat Fire burns on September 17 in Juniper Hills, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images