Madre Fire: High Winds May Hamper Firefighters

The U.S. Forest Service still expect full containment of the fire burning near Azusa by Friday.

The Madre Fire as seen from Citrus College in Glendora. Photo Credit: Mark Smith
The Madre Fire as seen from Citrus College in Glendora. Photo Credit: Mark Smith

Firefighters battling the Madre Fire near Azusa braced for high winds today but nonetheless expect full containment by Friday morning.

The fire was reported at 5:56 p.m. Monday north of Azusa and burned into the Angeles National Forest, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It had scorched about 250 acres by Tuesday night but was 70 percent contained, thanks to a robust regimen of aerial water drops, officials said.

The National Weather Service issued a high wind advisory for the area, effective from noon today to 3 a.m. Thursday. Sustained southwest-to-northwest winds of 20-30 mph were forecast, with gusts of up to 45 mph by this afternoon. The strongest gusts were expected in the early evening before the winds die down later tonight, according to the NWS.

Firefighters worked Tuesday to hem in the fire in advance of today's high winds, Nathan Judy of the Forest Service said.

"We're looking really good," he said after some 10 aircraft, including Super Scoopers, a DC10 and helicopters, made drops on the wildfire Tuesday afternoon.

Full containment is expected by Friday morning, Judy said.

Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Keith Mora said two firefighters have been injured. One suffered minor injuries to a leg when he was grazed by a falling boulder and a second firefighter had an eye injury, for which he was being treated, he said.

Although county firefighters are not handling the blaze, Mora is the county public information officer who is keeping track of the fire being fought by U.S National Forest firefighters.

About 450 firefighters were assigned to the blaze as of Tuesday.

Threats to homes on the fire's eastern flank diminished Monday into Tuesday, and fire commanders lifted evacuation orders in the area, Judy said.

Glendora Police issued a advisory Tuesday assuring Glendora residents in the foothills that their homes were not in danger. 

The fire was burning primarily in Fish Canyon near Van Tassel Ridge, Angel Lavell of the Angeles National Forest said.       

Portions of State Route 39 and Encanto Parkway in Duarte were closed to all but residents, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Encanto Park was being used as a staging area for water-dropping helicopters.

- City News Service

Liz September 26, 2013 at 06:40 PM
The winds are blowing on and off over here. I certainly hope they are not hampering the efforts on the Madre fire. Be safe everyone, please don't get caught in a repeat of what happened in Arizona recently.


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