Evacuation Warnings Issued as Bobcat Fire Grows to 11,456 Acres


MONROVIA (CNS) - Evacuation warnings were in effect for seven San Gabriel Valley foothill communities this morning as the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest grew to 11,456 acres with no containment.

Fire officials issued evacuation warnings for residents in Duarte, Bradbury, Monrovia, Acadia, Sierra Madre, Pasadena and Altadena, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The size of the fire was increased from 10,344 acres to 11,456 acres after daybreak Wednesday.

“Residents following Ready, Set, Go! should have evacuation plans in place, organize their emergency evacuation supplies, and have essential evacuation personal belongings easily accessible. Vehicles should be fully fueled, facing out in their driveways and ready to go,'' county fire Capt. Ron Haralson said.

Arcadia city officials suggested Tuesday night that residents north of Foothill Boulevard and east of Santa Anita Avenue voluntarily evacuate and residents in Sierra Madre north of Grandview Avenue were advised to voluntarily evacuate.

Evacuations were already ordered for residents and Angeles National Forest visitors from Big Santa Anita Canyon, Mt. Wilson, San Gabriel Canyon and Monrovia Canyon.

Incident commanders have also issued a warning directing Monrovia residents in the foothill area below the fire to be prepared to evacuate due to rapid fire growth with a potential threat to life and property.

Monrovia city officials said the first phase of evacuations would affect all residents north of Hillcrest Boulevard and north of Greystone Avenue. The second phase would impact all residents between Hillcrest Boulevard and Greystone Avenue south to Foothill Boulevard.

Officials with the National Weather Service said the Mount Wilson Observatory was also under evacuation orders.

Forecasters warned of Santa Ana winds, issuing a wind advisory through 3 p.m. Wednesday for the San Gabriel Valley. A red flag warning and smoke advisory were also in effect.

“Continued warm and dry conditions along with Santa Ana winds will contribute to active burning with erratic fire behavior,'' the U.S. Forest Service warned Tuesday night.

A moderate Santa Ana wind event was expected Wednesday. Northeast winds increased Tuesday afternoon across the mountains and valleys before spreading into the coastal areas Tuesday night and Wednesday. The strongest winds were expected Tuesday night and Wednesday morning with gusts between 35 and 55 mph.

A smoke advisory was extended to Wednesday, for most of Los Angeles County and parts of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, “with additional impacts from smoke carried over from Northern and Central California fires,'' the South Coast Air Quality Management District said on Twitter Tuesday night.

Regulators warned of unhealthy air quality in the San Gabriel Mountains, the east San Gabriel Valley and the Pomona-Walnut Valley.

The priority for firefighters Wednesday was to contain the south end of the fire.

The Forest Service estimates that the fire -- which broke out at midday Sunday near the Cogswell Dam and West Fork Day Use area -- will not be contained until Oct. 15.

The Red Cross established a temporary evacuation point Tuesday at Santa Anita Park, 285 W. Huntington Drive, for anyone affected by the Bobcat Fire.

Shelter for large animals was available at Fairplex in Pomona and Santa Anita Park.

Anyone needing to board their horses at Fairplex should call Fairplex Security at 909-865-4600. Trailers should enter the grounds at Gate 12 at 2201 White Ave., Fairplex director of communications Renee Hernandez said.

Owners will need to provide food, water and bedding for horses and must adhere to social distancing protocols and wear masks. The Fairplex has enough stables to board 300 horses and stables are spaced to assist with social distancing, Hernandez said.

Officials also said Tuesday that the full closure of the Angeles National Forest -- announced Monday along with those of several other national forests in California due to ongoing fire danger across the state -- will be in effect until Sept. 14.

Other national forests ordered closed were the San Bernardino National Forest, Cleveland National Forest, Los Padres National Forest, Inyo National Forest, Sequoia National Forest, Sierra National Forest and Stanislaus National Forest.

Restrictions were also imposed on national forest lands throughout the state that were not ordered to close. U.S. Forest Service officials said all ignition sources, such as campfires and gas stoves, will be prohibited across national forest system lands in California. Developed campgrounds and day-use sites in national forests throughout the state will also be closed

“The wildfire situation throughout California is dangerous and must be taken seriously. Existing fires are displaying extreme fire behavior, new fire starts are likely, weather conditions are worsening, and we simply do not have enough resources to fully fight and contain every fire,'' said Randy Moore, regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region.

Structures were being threatened by the fire, according to Angeles National Forest officials.

The Glendale (2) Freeway was closed from 10.6 miles east of La Canada- Flintridge to Islip Saddle. Highway 39 was closed at Canyon Entrance Station.

Photo: Getty Images

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