The Bobcat Fire was burning for the tenth day Wednesday, with 44,393 acres charred and 3% containment in the Angeles National Forest, officials said.
The blaze was within 500 feet of the Mount Wilson Observatory on Tuesday but firefighters were able to protect the 116-year-old site.
“Today focus of our efforts will be to hold onto what has been accomplished over the last few days in the vicinity of the foothill communities and Mt. Wilson Observatory,” fire officials said in their daily report Wednesday. “Fuels are at critically dry levels and we anticipate increased fire activity over the next couple of days compared to yesterday.”
Firefighters planned to strengthen the containment lines Wednesday and look for opportunities to attack the fire directly, with additional “strategic firing” as necessary to secure the lines.
Air tankers were ordered to help contain spot fires along the Highway 2 corridor in Cooper Canyon on the northern edge of the fire, reaching approximately 700 to 1,000 acres.
On the east side, along Highway 39, fire crews were preparing for a strategic firing operation to strengthen containment lines.
Evacuation orders were lifted around noon Wednesday in the area north of Elkins Avenue and east of Santa Anita Avenue in the communities of Arcadia and Sierra Madre. Residents would not be able to return to their homes before 4:00 p.m., however.
Evacuation orders were still in place for residents within the area north of Angeles Crest North and between Clear Creek Station and Highway 39 Tuesday.
A Red Cross Evacuation Center remains open at Santa Anita Park, located at 285 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia.
Foothill communities of Monrovia, Bradbury, Sierra Madre, Altadena, Duarte and Pasadena remained under an evacuation warning.
The cause for the Bobcat Fire has not yet been determined.