California Wildfires

Evacuation Orders Lifted as Fire Stops Burning Toward Homes in Azusa

The blaze, dubbed the Ranch Fire, forced evacuations in the Mt. Cove community.

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Firefighters will face extreme heat Friday as they try to increase containment lines around a 2,500-acre brush fire burning in the foothills of Azusa.

Evacuations have been lifted for residents of Mountain Cove in Azusa after the Ranch Fire stopped burning toward evacuated homes. The blaze had forced evacuations in the Mt. Cove community for those living south of Highwood Court and north and west of Turning Leaf and Boulder Ridge, according to Azusa police.

Hundreds of firefighters were working to control the blaze in Azusa. Beverly White reports for NBC LA at 6 p.m. Thursday Aug. 13, 2020.

It was reported about 2:45 p.m. near North San Gabriel Canyon Road and North Ranch Road, according to the Azusa Police Department and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which called in a second-alarm response. At least two residents said the fire began after a fight between two people at a homeless encampment in the river bed area.

"They were arguing over a bike," said resident Jimmy Pockets. "Things got escalated to where the fire started. It took off so quick."

Fire officials have not determined a cause.

Helicopters and crews on the ground worked to prevent the fire from reaching nearby homes, and shortly before 4:30 p.m. Friday, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported the blaze was growing but "burning away from foothill cities and into the forest.'' Evacuation orders remained in effect.

No structure damage or injuries were reported.

 By 7 p.m., the Los Angeles County Fire Department began releasing some resources that were assisting the Angeles National Forest's fire crews.

 State Route 39, also called San Gabriel Canyon Road, was closed in each direction in the area. Northbound lanes were closed at Sierra Madre Avenue and southbound lanes at East Fork Road, according to Caltrans. 

A fire, though only 20 acres, forced evacuations in an Azusa community after burning near homes Aug. 13, 2020.

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