Arcadia residents ordered to evacuate amid ‘dangerous’ conditions as Bobcat Fire burns over 31K acres – KABC-TV

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ARCADIA, Calif. (KABC) — The Bobcat Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest continues to rage a week since it first erupted, prompting residents in parts of Arcadia and Sierra Madre to evacuate.

The fire, which has scorched 33,312 acres and is 6% contained as of Monday morning, continues to grow and burn downhill into foothill communities.

The U.S. Forest Service initially estimated for full containment on Oct. 15, but that has been pushed back to Oct. 30.

An evacuation order was issued Sunday morning for Arcadia residents north of Elkins Avenue and east of Santa Anita Avenue. They were told to evacuate immediately and use Santa Anita Avenue to leave the area.

In Sierra Madre, police said a total of 32 homes were affected by the evacuation order.

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Meanwhile, evacuation warnings were in effect for several foothill communities, including Monrovia, Bradbury, Sierra Madre, Altadena, Duarte and Pasadena. An evacuation order was also issued for Camp Williams.

An evacuation center has been set up at Santa Anita Track at 285 West Huntington Drive. Residents should enter through Gate 5. More information about the center was available at 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767).

Pamela Helmuth of Arcadia was one of the many residents who packed up their vehicles and got out Sunday.

“You just kind of get everything that’s most important to you and get out as fast as you can,” she said.

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The blaze burned downhill toward Monrovia and north toward State Route 2 in the Buckhorn Area, with “significant” western growth toward Mt. Wilson, Angeles National Forest officials reported.

Nearly 900 firefighters were working to stop the blaze, aided by five helicopters and four fixed-wing aircraft. Additionally, firefighters were setting strategic fires to help clear vegetation on the southern end of the blaze in the Santa Anita Canyon area near Chantry Flat, officials said.

The abnormally dry vegetation has been fueling the blaze, leading to extreme fire behavior and rapid rates of spread.

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Angeles Crest Highway 2 was closed from Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road to Big Pines, Highway 39 was closed at Old San Gabriel Canyon Road, and Glendora Ridge Road, Glendora Mountain Road, and Mount Wilson Road were closed as well.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she has signed a proclamation declaring a local emergency in the county because of the fire and requested a state proclamation. The proclamation will be subject to a ratification vote at the Board of Supervisors regular meeting on Tuesday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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