Post fire containment now at 61% as temperatures rise in Gorman area

Firefighters are steadily gaining the upper hand on the massive Post fire in the Gorman area north of Los Angeles, increasing containment from 57% to 61% Friday, prompting officials to lift or reduce some evacuation orders.

The burn area remained at 15,690 acres after increasing from 15,611 acres on Tuesday, according to Cal Fire.

In anticipation of hot and breezy conditions Friday and through the weekend, firefighters continue to focus on protecting critical infrastructure and recreation areas throughout the fire footprint.

Crews will continue to identify and address pockets of fire and heat within interior portions of the burned area, as well as along roads and the Interstate 5 corridor, according to Cal Fire.

A DC-10 air tanker makes a drop on the Post fire near Gorman on Saturday, June 15, 2024. Crews were still battling the fire on Friday, June 21, with hot, dry conditions expected to persist throughout the weekend. (Photo by Mike Meadows/Contributing Photographer)

An LA County fire engine pours water on the Post fire near Gorman on Saturday, June 15, 2024. As of Friday, June 21, the blaze was 61% contained after burning 15,690 acres. (Photo by Mike Meadows/Contributing Photographer)

Two LA County Fire Department battalion chiefs set up a command post near Gorman Post Road on Saturday, June 15, 2024, as the Post fire rages in the background. (Photo by Mike Meadows/Contributing Photographer)

An LA City fire helicopter makes a drop to protect an LA County camp crew worning a spot fire Saturday, June 15, 2024, during the batle against the Post fire near Gorman. (Photo by Mike Meadows/Contributing Photographer)

A large air tanker starts its drop over the hills to stop the spread of the Post fire to the northeast on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Photo by Mike Meadows/Contributing Photographer)

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The priority remains constructing and reinforcing containment lines around the fire.

Fire crews have also made progress on suppression repair, including repairing dozer lines and constructing water bars to help protect watersheds and recreation areas.

Seasonably hot and dry weather is expected Friday, with daytime temperatures in the 90s and humidity levels in the teens and single digits. Morning and evening winds are expected at lower elevations and in valleys.

Firefighters continue to prepare for a significant warming trend this weekend, with temperatures expected in the high 90s to around 100 degrees. On Sunday there is a slight possibility of thunderstorms over the burn area.

The fire broke out Saturday, June 15, prompting the evacuation of about 1,200 people from the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area. Evacuation orders remained in place there Wednesday, and also at Pyramid Lake and Oak Flats Campground.

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, evacuation orders remained in place for areas south of Gorman Post Road, west of Interstate 5, east of the Los Angeles County line and north of Pyramid Lake, officials said.

Also as of 10 a.m. Thursday, evacuation orders were lifted for Cas Paradise Ranch and Goldenstate B. An evacuation order was converted to an evacuation warning for areas south of Pyramid Lake, west of Interstate 5, east of the Los Angeles County line, and just north of Templin Highway.

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The following road closures were in place:

— Northbound Interstate 5 at state Route 138

— Southbound Vista del Lago Road at the entrance to the Vista del Lago Visitors Center

— Eastbound Castaic Lake Drive at Ridge Route Road

One commercial property has been destroyed, while 10 are being threatened, along with 50 single-family residences, fire officials said.

Authorities are officially reporting one injury from the fire, although no details were released.

The blaze is being battled by a unified command that includes the U.S. Forest Service, Angeles National Forest, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Ventura County Fire Department. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, California State Park Services, Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management, Cal Fire and California Highway Patrol were also providing support.

“Crews continue making progress on the perimeter of the Post fire … allowing teams to focus more on the interior terrain,” officials said in their Thursday morning update. “Crews continue seeking out isolated smoke and heat sources that produced small flare ups (Wednesday). Increased temperatures are expected over the next several days and into the weekend which make these areas a priority.”

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a wildfire smoke advisory for the Santa Clarita and Castaic areas, with northwesterly winds expected to push smoke from the fire southeast toward Santa Clarita, the San Fernando Valley and parts of the Angeles National Forest.

The SCAQMD advised people in the area to limit their exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed or by seeking immediate shelter, avoid vigorous physical activity and to run their air conditioners or air purifiers.

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“It’s best to avoid using swamp coolers or whole house fans that bring in outside air,” the agency said. “Residents should also avoid burning wood in their fireplaces or firepits. And, if they absolutely must be outside, a properly fit N95 mask or P100 respirator may provide some protection.

The Post fire started at about 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Ralph’s Ranch and Gorman School roads, near the 5 Freeway, Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Craig Little told City News Service.

Some 1,747 personnel wee involved in the firefighting effort.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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