Many Los Angeles residents awoke this morning to blue skies whose horizons were muddied by smoke from the Angeles National Forest wildfire 22 miles to the east. The air also bore a campfire scent. The latest wildfire broke out near Morris Dam in San Gabriel Canyon late Tuesday afternoon and, while its cause remains unknown, it's raging without any quick end in site. Temperatures may hit triple digits in steep terrain covered with bone-dry brush and chaparral. The initial online incident log for national forest wildfires reports that 275 acres were charred, but that last update was made 11 hours ago and, according to the L.A. Times, it is believed 600 acres have now burned in the area, which is northeast of Duarte.
Both sides of Highway 39 above Azusa were reported by Associated Press to be ablaze. Calls to the fire's media line in Arcadia have not been returned. Earlier this month the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and others reported on plans to use federal stimulus money to build new fire stations near the area now burning.
With some exceptions, Southern California has been lucky this summer with its fires. (The fire-danger gauge
on the Angeles National Forest's Web page is still stuck on its July 12
setting of “Very High” — the third from the highest level.) With Labor
Day weekend approaching in two weeks, that good fortune could change as many
Angelenos head for the very dry and dangerous hills.