San Gabriel Complex Fires still at zero containment

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The San Gabriel Complex Fire, as it is now called, has expanded and as of this time is still zero containment.

The fire began on Monday as two fires: the Reservoir and Fish fires. Now they have become so big — and being so close to each other — the U.S. Forest Service and other responding agencies have given it a new name, although they still view the situation as two separate fires.

Currently the Reservoir and Fish fires have burned nearly, 5,500 acres. Both are zero contained. A total of 610 people are fighting the fires.

Besides the ground crews there are engines, helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, bulldozers and water tenders being utilized.

The fires are in steep terrain that hasn’t burned in five or more decades.

All of Southern California is under a Red Flag Warning, meaning the temperatures will be excessively high. The burn areas will be in triple digits and the humidity will be in single digits. On Monday the Duarte-Asuza area reached 109°f.

Highway 39 remains closed, and about 770 homes and other structures have been evacuated. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement about the evacuations in Duarte, saying, “Homes north of Markwood Street between Westvale Road and Greenbank Avenue, and north of Deerlane Drive between Greenbank Avenue and Mountain Crest Road.” The statement also included, “Residents in the Mount Olive Drive area just northwest of Conata Street, including those residents in the Spinks Canyon Road, Rim Road, Goldenmeadow Drive, High Mesa Drive, and Tall Pink Drive areas are also mandated to evacuate the area for safety purposes.”

The Sheriff’s Office suggests residents in the area have their “go bags” ready and to be prepared to leave at a moments notice. It is suggested residents leave sooner, rather than later because if the residents have to share the roads with firefighters and other emergency personnel traffic could get clogged.

According to the InciWeb report, “The American Red Cross has set up an evacuation center at the Duarte Community Center located at 1600 Huntington Drive, Duarte, CA 91010 or call (626) 357-7931. The Red Cross Shelter housed 35 people overnight at their Evacuation Shelter. As of mid-day today (6-21) there are 24 registered residents. The numbers are expected to change throughout the event. The Shelters provide a safe place to stay, information, meals and health services for anyone affected by the fire.”

California is in the fifth year of a drought and that is helping fuel these fires.

The U.S. Forest Service and FAA wants to remind everyone that a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in effect and anyone caught flying a drone or private manned aircraft in the area of the fires will face serious felony charges.

More on the Red Flag Warning and wildfires in Southern California: HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Photo by Claudia Gestro