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Wildfires Force Evacuations in San Gabriel Valley

A fire near Azusa has burned 2,000 acres and is “zero percent” contained

As a record-setting heat wave continues to bear down on Southern California, fires raging throughout the area are threatening homes and forcing evacuations. On Monday afternoon, Azusa police ordered a mandatory evacuation of the Mountain Cove and Rainbow Ranch communities. Voluntary evacuation warnings were issued for Mirador and Crystal Canyon.

Two wildfires in the San Gabriel mountains are forcing the evacuations. According to Wildfire Today, the Reservoir Fire, blazing above Glendora, began late Monday morning after a car accident on Highway 39. The Fish Fire started shortly thereafter, and has already burned more than 2,000 acres near Azusa and Duarte. The LA County Fire Department reports that the blaze is "zero percent" contained thus far. The fire department, City of Duarte, and American Red Cross are operating an evacuation center at 1600 Huntington Drive in Duarte.

At the same time, a brush fire in Santa Barbara County continues to burn after igniting Wednesday afternoon. The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory over the weekend that is still in effect. The district warns that air quality may reach unhealthy levels in many areas around SoCal—particularly in the Inland Empire and eastern San Gabriel Valley.

Earlier this year, the US Forest Service predicted that a lack of badly-needed El Niño rains might worsen this year’s fire season in Southern California. Years of drought have made the area’s parched forests much more susceptible to sudden flareups like the ones that have occurred this week.