Brush fires near Castaic Lake and Wrightwood continue to burn for a second day

Angeles National Forest Service firefighters continued to gain ground Sunday on two separate brush fires burning near Castaic Lake and in the Wrightwood area of San Bernardino County.

The biggest gain was on the 11-acre brush fire burning near Wrightwood, dubbed the Zermatt fire, which is 50% contained, according to the agency’s Twitter account on Sunday.

A spokesman for the agency could not be reached for comment.

The Zermatt fire broke out shortly before noon on Saturday at Zermatt and Pacific Crest drives, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy told The Times.

The initial danger prompted the evacuation of residents in the area of Pacific Crest Drive between Zermatt and Lone Pine Canyon Road, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The evacuations have since been lifted.

Meanwhile, Forest Service fighters were assisted by Los Angeles city and county fire departments in battling a second blaze that has burned about 1,000 acres near Castaic Lake.

So far two outbuildings have been destroyed in what’s been named the Lake fire, which broke out in the recreational area north of Santa Clarita on Saturday afternoon, prompting voluntary evacuations.

As of Saturday evening the fire was 10% contained, according to Richard Licon, an inspector with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. About 450 firefighters are battling the brush fire.

No injuries have been reported at either fire. The causes of the fires remain under investigation.

Fire officials have been concerned about the increased risk of fires due to a heat wave that is expected to boil Southern California until Wednesday.

“As the temperatures grow, the more time it has to dry out,” Licon said of the brush, adding that recent rains have increased the height of the vegetation. “It’s always a concern for us.”

Weather forecasters say a dry high-pressure system centered over the Southwest is to blame for the hot days ahead.

Desert and mountain communities will take most of the hit when it comes to the heat. Temperatures are expected to hover between 120 and 122 degrees early next week in the Coachella Valley and deserts in San Diego County.

Staff writers Brittny Mejia and Rosanna Xia contributed to this report.

ruben.vives@latimes.com

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