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Bobcat Fire Grows Beyond 10,300 Acres; Pasadena, Other Foothill Communities Prepare for Potential Evacuation Orders

Officials await sunrise to map fire's current boundaries; voluntary evacuations initiated in Sierra Madre

Published on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 | 9:38 pm
The Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest, pictured on Sept. 8, 2020. (Credit: U.S. Forest Service)

Officials in Pasadena and other communities along the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains continued keeping watch over the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest throughout Tuesday night and early Wednesday as it grew past 10,300 acres in size.

The only formal voluntary evacuation order issued was in Sierra Madre, where city officials advised residents north of Grandview Avenue to make overnight accommodations due to concerns that Santa Ana winds could push the flames closer to the city late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

The Red Cross established a temporary evacuation center at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, the agency said.

“No action is required for Pasadena at this point,” city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.

In the case evacuations are ordered in Pasadena, the city will alert residents through it’s emergency alert system, and police and fire officials will make announcements in affected neighborhoods, she said.

It all depended on the wind.

Winds had largely been pushing the flames north, away from communities, Sunday and Monday. But a shift on Tuesday saw winds pushing the fire toward the south.

Derderian urged foothill residents to remain alert in case the wind picks up and evacuation orders become necessary, she said. The northern portion of the Hastings Ranch neighborhood was of the most concern.

“The strongest winds are expected Tuesday night and Wednesday morning with gusts between 35 and 55 mph, with even some isolated gusts around 60 mph,” the U.S. Forest Service said in a written statement.

Embers are capable of traveling well over a mile ahead of a wildfire and sparking flames, officials warned.

While no evacuations had been issued outside of Sierra Madre, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said Pasadena, Altadena, Bradbury, Duarte, Arcadia and Monrovia were under evacuation “warning,” and evacuation orders were possible at any time.

The Bobcat Fire, which broke out Sunday afternoon near Cogswell Reservoir, more than doubled in size on Tuesday to 10,344 acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service. No containment lines had been established.

Roughly 400 firefighters worked at the fire on Tuesday night.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

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