AZUSA (CBSLA.com) — The few residents who braved the night in an evacuated Azusa neighborhood saw a strange sight Friday morning – smoke rising from the rain-soaked hills.
The saturated earth apparently moved a boulder and sent it rolling down the hillside just before 7 a.m., releasing smoke from the Colby Fire, the same blaze that scorched nearly 2,000 acres above Azusa and Glendora in January. The smoke is still the same fire, still smoldering underground, CBS2’s Joy Benedict reports.
“A boulder came down the hill, probably 100 to 200 feet, and struck a stump,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Brian Jordan said.
The smoke was a signal that the ground was shifting, and just an hour later, an Azusa homeowner says the upper part of his backyard was buried in mud.
“It’s wiped out my 50 avocado trees and it’s coming into our basketball court,” homeowner Ed Heinlein said. So far, his house has escaped the mudflow, thanks to the plywood he placed against his fencing and the sandbags up against his patio doors. But he is concerned it won’t be enough.
“Huge muds, in the next couple hours, is coming,” Heinlein said.