Two of the three largest fires in state history continue to burn. As of September 7th, all 18 state forests in the Pacific Southwest Region of the National Forest Service (which includes the entire state) have been closed at least until September 14th, and possibly longer depending on the ongoing fire situation. Campgrounds have also been closed statewide. According to the Forest Service, the situation will be monitored daily and the closures lifted or maintained accordingly.
While the Bobcat fire burning above Pasadena in the San Gabriel foothills generated evacuation warnings for a number of foothill communities, in Arcadia at least, those warnings had been lifted by Wednesday afternoon. Residents of Bradbury and Duarte confirmed the presence of fire personnel, and equipment – both on the ground and in the air – on the job since Tuesday staking our protective perimeters in those communities. Road closures continue, including route 39 East of Old San Gabriel Rd and State Route 2 East of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Rd.
As of Wednesday, the fire was still 0% contained and the evacuation warning remains in place for most other communities such as Monrovia and Duarte. Should the evacuation order come, temporary shelter for those affected is available at Santa Anita Race Track. For more information on all evacuation centers call 1-800-redcross (733-2767). Road closures remain in effect including route 39 East of Old San Gabriel Road and State Route 2 East of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Rd.
Even if your home is not in immediate danger from the flames current air quality remains an issue throughout the area. The current Air Quality Index is an “Unhealthy” 210. (Healthy AIQ’s are not above the 40’s.) Your mask will come in especially handy as, COVID aside, it is still recommended that you wear a mask outside at all times. You should also avoid outside exercise, and when inside keep your windows closed and use an air purifier if possible. Avoid using fans or swamp coolers that draw air from the outside.
Be prepared to stay vigilant. The Forest Service says the fire is burning at high altitude with abundantly available fuel and “significant fire growth continues”.