The multiple raging fires began on Monday afternoon. In the two or three days following the firefighters will aided by cooler weather. However, now strong winds and hot temperatures are combining in a deadly mix to make it infinitely harder for firefighters to battle two different infernos in the San Gabriel Mountains. These winds have been blowing in from the southwest. If they start blowing in from the northwest starting today as predicted, the firefighters will also have to change their strategy altogether. Local meteorologists all agree that such a thing is the most important factor for the firefighters right now.
The meteorologists also fear that this weekend temperatures in the area could reach 90 to 100 degrees. The two fires are being considered one problem are known as the San Gabriel Complex fire. Right now 1,461 people are fighting the 4,035 acres of troubled land. This includes nearby area fires in Spinks Canyon, Fish Canyon, and Stone Cabin Flat. There are also a nine bulldozers, 55 fire engines, 23 handscrews, 13 helicopters, and five water tenders working constantly in the hardest hit sections.Some of this number of firefighters are doing massive cleanup work in the towns where the blaze has already been cleared out.
Some of the cleanup has even reached a point where the residents who were evacuated are allowed to return home. However, the authorities were very careful in doing this and there were restrictions for these people. For instance, they were required to show an I.D. and they were prohibited from bringing back their horses with them. There are miscellaneous other restrictions but these are the standard ones that will remain true for all returning evacuees. There are further communities who may be given evacuation orders in the near future.
This is beginning to look less certain as the firefighters are just now gaining more control of the fire. As of yesterday, 30 percent is contained. Some of these have already evacuated there home, choosing to leave their homes and uncertain they will ever see it again. Some of the evacuees—both those ordered to do so and those who willingly chose to do so–have been allowed to return have even been allowed to bring their horses back home. So far 1,300 homes have been evacuated since the beginning of this fire problem.
Helping at the command post is fire behavior analyst, Dan Felix. He said the situation does look slightly better because the advancing fire has slowed down. However, it makes it harder that much of the area is difficult to access and that a lot of the brush is old and therefore more easily burnable. It has been allowed to grow old because a fire has not occurred in the area for over 30 years. In charge of the entire operation is Mike Wakowski. Time will tell how the San Gabriel Complex fire turns out under Wakowski’s able leadership. In the meantime, the hardworking firefighters are making further strides toward more containment of the fiery situation.