Some residents evacuated from their homes in Duarte and Azusa California were cleared to return home Thursday as firefighters kept up their campaign against the 5,235-acre San Gabriel Complex Fire, which is just 15% contained.
About 950 firefighters are battling the blazes in the Angeles National Forest and the foothills above those Southern California communities.
Residents of approximately 530 homes evacuated in Duarte were allowed to return home Wednesday.
Late Thursday morning, the sheriff’s department announced that beginning at Noon, some residents who live in the Las Lomas area of Duarte will be able return to their homes..
Residents must show identification to be allowed back into the neighborhood.
However, residents in the Las Lomas area in Duarte who live North of Willowglen Drive are still under evacuation.
.All other evacuations remain in effect.
New totals released Thursday morning indicated that 1,326 homes have been evacuated, including 326 in Azusa and about 950 in Duarte.
So far, out of those evacuated in Duarte, the residents of about 694 homes were able to return home.
The remaining homes were evacuated from the San Gabriel Mountain communities.
Small pet dogs and cats were allowed back in with residents, but livestock and large private vehicles were not, because roadways need to remain accessible to large fire trucks.
“Please remember that security will be a priority,” a sheriff’s department official said, adding that residents will need to show identification.
Those who return will need to show their identification to deputies in the area, and residents cannot bring their livestock home until at least 24 hours after they return home.
About 80 sheriff’s authorities remain on duty at the fires, with 44 deputies patrolling the evacuated areas, officials said.
Firefighting personnel from both the county and US Forest Service were working to extinguish the flames.
The Reservoir Fire broke out shortly after 11:00a Monday off Highway 39 near the Morris Reservoir dam north of Azusa, according to the US Forest Service.
About 90 mins after the Reservoir Fire began, a second blaze was reported near Opal Canyon and Brookridge roads near the Duarte/Azusa border, about 4 miles southwest of the Reservoir Fire.
That blaze, dubbed the Fish Fire, roared into the foothills, burning North away from homes but threatening some remote horse stables.
As of Thursday morning, the size of the Fish Fire was listed at 4,035 acres and the size of the Reservoir blaze was listed at 1,200 acres.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital Monday with minor injuries related to heat exhaustion, and a sheriff’s deputy suffered similar injuries earlier that day, fire authorities said.
No other injuries were reported.
Always take extreme care when traveling in Fire Danger Zones, lives and property depend on it.