Southern California brush fire in San Gabriel Canyon

Williams Fire, Sept 2, 2012

Williams Fire, Sept 2, 2012. Photo by 10 Tanker Air Carrier

The Williams Fire started in San Gabriel Canyon north of Azusa in southern California Sunday afternoon and through the afternoon and evening grew to 3,600 acres. The origin was between Camp Williams and the shooting range along East Fork Road in San Gabriel Canyon about 3.5 miles east of Highway 39. A map showing the location of the Williams fire is below.

Map of Williams Fire Sept 2, 2012. MODIS

Map of Williams Fire. The red circles represent the location of heat detected by a satellite. Sept. 2, 2012. MODIS (click to enlarge)

San Gabriel Canyon, which will be closed on Monday, Labor Day, typically sees over 10,000 visitors on a holiday weekend.

At least 300 personnel are assigned to the fire, as well as 9 air tankers, 4 helicopters, 30 engines, 2 dozers, and 4 hand crews. It is moving north through very steep terrain toward the Sheep Mountain Wilderness area. As of 2 a.m. Monday morning the fire was listed as 5 percent contained.

All of the photos below were taken by the crew on Air Tanker 911, a DC-10 which earlier on Sunday was repositioned from Casper, Wyoming where it had been based while working the fires in Nebraska, to Sacramento. From Sacramento it was dispatched to this fire, and Sunday night was at San Bernardino. The second DC-10, T-910, was recently released from their Call When Needed contract and sent home.

Williams Fire

Williams Fire, Sept 2, 2012. Photo by 10 Tanker Air Carrier

Williams Fire, Sept 2, 2012. Photo by 10 Tanker Air Carrier

Williams Fire, Sept 2, 2012. Photo by 10 Tanker Air Carrier

The LA Times has a nice collection of photos of the fire.

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About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+

One thought on “Southern California brush fire in San Gabriel Canyon

  1. This meant the thousands of people already camping and also streaming up to Crystal Lake and th North and West Forks had to be evacuated also? and besides those headed to camp or picnic on the East Fork.
    I took a leasurly 6 AM bike ride up to the cogswell dam road at 6AM. There were maybe 4 cars in the parking lot. When I came back at about 8AM to the parking lot at the junction of Noth & East forks of the San Gabriel river (at Hwy 39 & road to cogswell junction).
    The parking lots were all full as well as the side of road parking. And I passed streams of cars coming up.
    Definately a holiday. All these people had to be evacuated in an orderly manner I assume.
    Does this put Baldy areas on the alert also?

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