By Mary O’KEEFE
The Colby Fire that started early this morning darkened skies and showered the southland with ash. The fire began at 5:52 a.m. Thursday in the Angeles National Forest. It quickly moved into the area of Glendora and as of 3 p.m. Thursday, 1,709 acres have been burned and three suspects have been arrested.
At about 6:30 a.m. this morning, a Glendora police officer detained two suspects running in a flood control wash channel. U.S. Forest Service personnel found a third suspect in the nearby area. All three suspects were arrested on charges of unlawfully causing a fire of a structure or forestland, a felony with a bail of $20,000, according to a Glendora Police Dept. statement.
Several Glendora schools have been closed due to the fire and resulting compromised air quality. Two homes have been destroyed and two structures damaged. Two civilians and two firefighters have been injured and transported to a local hospital.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. has ordered mandatory evacuation of 1,000 homes in the fire area.
The Pasadena Humane Society and Inland Valley Center are accepting evacuated pets.
As of 2:04 p.m. on Thursday, the fire is at zero containment. A Red Flag Warning is still in affect through Friday at 3 p.m.
According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Crescenta Valley area has good air quality; however, other areas affected by the smoke from the Colby Fire include the East San Gabriel Valley (Forecast Area 9); the Pomona/Walnut Valley (Forecast Area 10); the South San Gabriel Valley (Forecast Area 11).
Smoke may be experienced in additional areas of Los Angeles County downwind of the fire, depending on evolving conditions, but air quality is expected to be in the unhealthy for sensitive
groups category in the following areas: Southeast Los Angeles County (Forecast Area 5); South Central Los Angeles County (Forecast Area 12); Southwest Los Angeles County Coastal (Forecast Area 3); South Los Angeles County Coastal (Forecast Area 4).
In any area directly impacted by smoke: Everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should remain indoors. Keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter. Run the air conditioner if you have one. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. To avoid worsening the health effects of wildfire smoke, don’t use indoor or outdoor wood-burning appliances, including fireplaces.