San Gabriel, California, Wildfires Rage, Residents Warned of Evacuations
The Fish and Reservoir fires, which authorities are now calling the San Gabriel Complex Fire, burned more than 5,400 acres overnight.
The 2 wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest, dubbed the San Gabriel Complex Fire, are burning out of control, and more residents are being asked to prepare for evacuations, authorities said Tuesday morning.
Residents in Monrovia and the Bradbury communities were warned to have an evacuation plan ready to go if an evacuation order comes, Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief John Tripp said.
Despite warnings and evacuation orders from officials, some residents created their own “trigger” for when to evacuate, and that’s creating safety hazards for emergency personnel, he said.
“The problem with that is everybody is going at the same time so all the roads are clogged, and we have a very unsafe evacuation,” Chief Tripp said. “So when we declared an evacuation area, please get ready and go, and go early. Do not wait until the front is right in your yard.”
The 2 wildfires, burning above Duarte and Azusa, are about 2 miles from each other and have charred a combined 5,4000 acres and there are still no containment Tuesday.
The big threat Tuesday is the Fish Fire.
Overnight, the wind shifted direction, and the fire came down close to homes, Chief Tripp said.
“We were able to use our night water-dropping helicopters to slow that advance, but that still is a very uncontrolled flank of the fire,” he said.
The reason the wildfires are still uncontrolled is that there are a lot of old fuel beds in the forest from the 4-year drought, Angeles National Forest Fire Chief Robert Garcia said.
People entering the National Forest for recreational activities were urged to be diligent and be on the lookout for fire rescue personnel, Chief Garcia said.
“If you see fire activities you should call 911 to notify us for a rapid respond,” he said.
More than 770 homes have been evacuated by the San Gabriel Complex Fire.
Evacuation orders were issued in Azusa for the Mountain Cove, El Encanto and Rainbow Ranch areas, with an evacuation center established at Memorial Park, 320 N. Orange Ave. Voluntary evacuations were in effect for the Mirador and Crystal Canyon areas.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for Duarte Mesa residents living above Markwood Street between Westvale Road and Tocino Drive, and above Conata between Tocino Drive and Mountain Crest Road.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued earlier for residents on Brookridge Road, with voluntary evacuations in effect for residents north of Fish Canyon Road from Greenbank Avenue to Encanto Parkway.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies early Tuesday announced additional road closures linked to the fires.
They are located at:
- Mount Olive Drive at Royal Oaks Drive
- Vineyard Avenue at Markwood Street
- Woodbluff Street from Sunnydale Drive
- Greenbank Avenue from Deerlane Drive
- Conata Street at Bettyhill Avenue
- Mel Canyon Road at Opal Canyon Road
- Mountain Crest Road at Fish Canyon Road
- Encanto parkway at Markwood Street
- Mount Olive Drive at Woodlyn Lane; and
- Mount Olive Drive at Elda Street.
- The Red Cross established an evacuation center at the Duarte Community Center, located at 1600 Huntington Dr.
People entering the Los Angeles National Forest for recreational activities are urged to be extremely diligent and careful in the Fire Danger Zones, lives and property depend on it.