CALIFORNIA—The Los Angeles County Fire Department issued evacuation warning to a number of communities around the Angeles National Forest north of Duarte area on Monday, September 7, as the Bobcat Fire spreads to thousands of acres in size.
The fire started on Sunday, September 6, as record-breaking heat transpired throughout the state causing a number of fires and power outages. As of Wednesday, September 9, the Bobcat Fire remains at zero percent containment and 11,456 acres in size.
The communities of Monrovia, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, Bradbury, Altadena, Duarte, and Pasadena are under evacuation warnings.
Fire crews on the scene on Wednesday, September 9, were focused on preparing and strengthening fire lines. Just over 400 personnel have been assigned to combat the fire. The LA County Fire Department said that air operations will be “questionable” due to the smoke created by the fire.
The fire prompted the U.S. Forest Service to close 8 of the 18 National Forests in the state of California on Monday, September 7. Two days later, the other 10 National Forests will also be closed as of 5:00 p.m. on September 9.
“The number of large fires and extreme fire behavior we are seeing across the State is historic,” said Regional Forester Randy Moore in a statement. “These temporary closures are necessary to protect the public and our firefighters, and we will keep them in place until conditions improve and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely.”
Law enforcement officials are encouraging residents to prepare for an evacuation order.
When an evacuation order is issued, “residents should be able to quickly gather their families and pets and leave the are to the designated evacuation sites,” according to an update from the U.S. Forest Service issued on Tuesday, September 8.
“Delaying these preparedness actions will prevent fire crews from suppression activities and compromise the safety of the public and first responders.”
City officials in Arcadia and Sierra Madre asked residents to “voluntarily evacuate” due to concerns about the timeframe it could take to evacuate safely and orderly.
According to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, winds in the Santa Ana region coupled with warm and dry conditions “will allow for continued active burning today [Sept. 9] with erratic fire behavior.”
Fire departments in all the impacted communities will conduct structure protection planning and triage efforts, and crews at the fire scene will continue to monitor fire growth and behavior into the evening.