Although the Bobcat Fire is not expected to threaten Glendale or the foothill communities, city officials nevertheless encourage residents to refresh their disaster plans or plan them out if they haven’t already.
As of Friday, firefighters had established a 6% containment of the blaze, which has ballooned to more than 26,000 acres. The fire broke out Sunday near the Cogswell Dam and West Fork Day Use area in the Angeles National Forest, and has prompted evacuations in seven foothill communities in the eastern San Gabriel Valley.
Crews do not expect to contain the fire until Oct. 15. After daybreak on Friday morning, the U.S. Forest Service reported that three night-flying helicopters were deployed overnight, and crews kept the fire “in check” on the southern edge of the fire. The fire was moving in a northeasterly direction Thursday, and 540 firefighters were working to extinguish the flames, according to the Forest Service. No structural damage or injuries have been reported.
Smoke from the blaze has cast a smoky haze throughout much of Los Angeles, prompting closures of the few public spaces that are even open as a result of poor air quality. Though not as dramatic as the orange skies that have filled front pages and news broadcasts from Northern California and Oregon this week, residents here are waking up to the smell of smoke, with ash peppering the outdoors and with a sepia tone emanating from daylight.
Through social media and other outlets, the city is urging residents to be prepared for emergencies in any case.
Residents should identify whom they plan to call during an emergency and are encouraged to establish a predetermined meeting location if homes are damaged or inaccessible.
Families also should have enough bottled or container water for family members and pets, in addition to a supply of non-perishable food, for at least a week. They are also encouraged to have a month’s supply of medications on hand.
First aid kits should be kept and maintained according to family needs. Depending on the situation, other important disaster items include portable radios, flashlights, batteries and portable charging devices. A large container should be used to store all of these items for easy transport, in addition to clothing and hygiene equipment.
Kits should also include tools, some cash and copies of insurance documents and other important paperwork like passports or residency documents.
Evacuation warnings remain in effect in the foothill communities of Duarte, Bradbury, Monrovia, Sierra Madre, Pasadena, Altadena and Arcadia.
A “voluntary evacuation suggestion” by the city of Arcadia for residents north of Foothill Boulevard and east of Santa Anita Avenue was lifted about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday by city officials, who said the fire had “generally progressed away from” Arcadia.
Evacuations were previously ordered for residents and Angeles National Forest visitors from Big Santa Anita Canyon, Mt. Wilson, San Gabriel Canyon and Monrovia Canyon, but by Wednesday evening no evacuation orders were in effect, according to the Forest Service.
On Thursday, the American Red Cross closed its temporary evacuation point at Santa Anita Park, which was established on Tuesday for anyone affected by the fire.
Shelter for large animals was available at Fairplex in Pomona and Santa Anita Park. Anyone needing to board their horses at Fairplex should call Fairplex Security at 909-865-4600. Trailers should enter the grounds at Gate 12 at 2201 White Ave., Fairplex director of communications Renee Hernandez said.
Owners will need to provide food, water and bedding for horses and must adhere to social distancing protocols and wear masks. Fairplex has enough stables to board 300 horses, and stables are spaced to assist with social distancing, Hernandez said.
The Angeles National Forest, along with all 18 national forests in California, will be closed until further notice, the U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday.
“The wildfire situation throughout California is dangerous and must be taken seriously,” Randy Moore, regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region, said Monday. “Existing fires are displaying extreme fire behavior, new fire starts are likely, weather conditions are worsening, and we simply do not have enough resources to fully fight and contain every fire.”
The Glendale (2) Freeway was closed from 10.6 miles east of La Canada Flintridge to Islip Saddle. Highway 39 was closed at Canyon Entrance Station.
— City News Service contributed to this report.