The Bobcat Fire burning in the mountains above Arcadia in southern California grew substantially to the east Wednesday crossing Highway 39 above San Gabriel Reservoir. The latest size estimate from the U.S. Forest Service is 19,796 acres.
Firefighters described the fire behavior as very active to extreme with long-range spotting, tree torching, and visible slope runs. With the fire moving to the east there was an opportunity to work on the southern flank to help protect the foothill communities. The main objective was to prepare and strengthen fire lines constructed by dozers and hand crews. As the day progressed and the dense smoke lifted, two air tankers, including a DC-10, were able to make several drops of fire retardant on the southwest portion of the fire to reinforce and strengthen the fire lines. Later in the day a sky crane helicopter arrived on scene.
Local fire departments continued their structure protection planning and triage efforts within the growing list of foothill communities that are under evacuation warnings — Monrovia, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, Bradbury, Altadena, Duarte, and Pasadena.
(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Bobcat Fire, including the most recent, click HERE.)
The number of resources assigned to the incident has grown, and now includes 19 hand crews, 35 engines, and 1 helicopter, for a total of 652 personnel.
The fire is being managed by a Type 2 incident management from the eastern United States.
These are low numbers for a 20,000-acre wildfire threatening seven high density communities in the wildland-urban interface of the Los Angeles area.
Weather forecasters expect northeast winds to continue Thursday, becoming south or southwest in the afternoon. On the higher elevation ridgetops the wind speeds will be 10 to 15 mph gusting to 20 mph. With the relative humidity in the teens on the upper slopes, it is likely that the fire will be active Thursday.