MONROVIA (CBSLA) – Hundreds of firefighters worked tirelessly early Friday morning to establish containment lines around the Bobcat Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest, with several San Gabriel foothill communities still at risk.
The Bobcat Fire has burned 26,368 acres and was still only 6% contained as of 10:30 p.m. Friday. While it was moving in a northeasterly direction Thursday, there’s a risk that unpredictable Santa Ana winds could push the fire back south towards foothill communities Friday, the U.S. Forest Service reported.
Evacuation warnings remain in effect for foothill communities of Pasadena, Altadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Bradbury and Sierra Madre.
No buildings have been damaged or destroyed so far.
The low visibility caused by the smokey conditions have made it hard to get water-dropping helicopters and air tankers up in the air to battle the flames, which has meant more work for firefighters on the ground, although two DC-10 air tankers arrived Wednesday and were able to begin making retardant drops.
“The northern portion of the fire has reached up into ridges near Angeles Crest Highway where retardant drops have been made,” the U.S. Forest Service reported Thursday.
Two more hotshot crews were also brought in Thursday. There are about 600 firefighters assigned to the blaze.
Meanwhile, residents along the 210 Corridor from Pasadena to Rancho Cucamonga would experience the unhealthiest air of any Southland region Friday due to the high levels of particulate matter in the air. Smoke was expected “to remain closer to the ground overnight,” the South Coast Air Quality Management District reported.
The El Dorado Fire burning in Yucaipa is also contributing mightily to the unhealthy air quality.
The Bobcat Fire broke out a little after noon Sunday amid triple-digit temperatures near the Cogswell Dam and the West Fork Day Use area. The fire is churning through thick vegetation and dry brush in steep terrain, some of which has not burned in more 60 years.
Earlier this week, all 18 of California’s national forests, including the Angeles National Forest, were closed to the public.
The 2 Freeway is closed from La Canada- Flintridge to Islip Saddle. Highway 39 is closed at Canyon Entrance Station.