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Sheep fire in Southern California

Sheep fire Southern California
A fire engine races to fight the Sheep Fire (AP Photo/Mike Meadows)

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Southern Californians continue to cope with this year's fire season as the so called "Sheep Fire" broke out in the eastern portion of the Angeles National Forest over the past weekend.  The fire began near Sheep Canyon Road on Saturday afternoon and has continued to burn over 7,000 acres of land. 

 The fire's close proximity to the mountain town of Wrightwood forced evacuations that are still in effect.  So far, firefighters have held the blaze about a quarter of a mile from the town by preventing the flames from crossing highways 2 and 138.  No buildings have been burned in Wrightwood, but five other structures have been consummed by the flames elsewhere.

 In addition to threatening nearby towns, the fire is also active in areas popular with out door recreationists. The Pacific Crest Trail runs along Upper Lytle Creek Ridge; the Sheep fire has quickly encroached and burned parts of this area, threatening portions of the famous trail that leads from Mexico to Canada. Nearby Applewhite campground and picnic area have been evacuated, as have portions around Lytle Creek.

Cooler weather and relatively low winds have enabled the firefighters to contain over 30% of the fire, but they will need to clear an additional 19 miles of fire breaks before full containment can be achieved at this time. With close to two thousand personnel working on the Sheep fire, officials estimate that the blaze should be brought under control by later in the week.