Dam Fire: 240-acre blaze in Angeles National Forest near Azusa 40% contained amid extreme heat, low humidity

A 240-acre brush fire continued to blacken land in the Angeles National Forest near Azusa Friday as dangerous weather conditions posed a greater threat for other blazes to spark across Southern California.
AZUSA, Calif. (KABC) -- A 240-acre brush fire continued to blacken land in the Angeles National Forest near Azusa Friday as dangerous weather conditions posed a greater threat for other blazes to spark across Southern California.

The fast-moving fire was 40% contained Friday morning after erupting some time before 2 p.m. Thursday along San Gabriel Canyon Road, officials said. The flames burned uphill in a remote area with heavy brush, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.



Winds began to pick up Friday morning, with strong gusts returning later in the day. Temperatures are expected to climb over the weekend.

"It's extremely hot, it's dry, the humidities are low," John Miller with the U.S. Forest Service. "Between the Forest Service, CalFire and all the fire departments, we're at a heightened state of readiness for the next fire to break out. And, of course, our response in Southern California is always going to be immediate, decisive and aggressive."

However, fire crews were gaining the upper hand on the blaze, utilizing water-dropping helicopters as about 100 firefighters on the ground battled flames.

"A very robust air and ground attack is holding back further spread,'' Angeles National Forest Fire Chief Robert Garcia said. "But tough days ahead in some of the steepest terrain in the Angeles, combined with a heat wave of 100-degrees-plus. Please give thanks to your firefighters."

A command post was established in Irwindale.

Some evacuations were ordered north of Morris Dam as firefighters battled the blaze.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for residents north of Morris Dam to Crystal Lake. The evacuation route is out East Fork to Glendora Mountain Road.

Additionally, residents who live along Highway 39 have been advised to be prepared to leave. The exit route is east on East Fork and south on Glendora Mountain Road.

Authorities were also evacuating campers in the West Fork area of Angeles National Forest as a precaution.

No injuries have been reported.

Around 2:30 p.m., the brush fire near the Morris Dam prompted authorities to close Highway 39 north of Glendora. The highway is expected to remain shut down through Sunday.
Drivers were advised to keep roadways clear and pull over for emergency vehicles.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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