Ranch 2 Fire Burns Above Azusa

The Rach 2 Fire started midafternoon Thursday in the mountains above Azusa. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

A fast-moving, uncontained brush fire has scorched 2,500 acres in the Angeles National Forest above Azusa, as of Friday morning. The size of the fire was downgraded by 500 acres from Thursday’s 3,000-acre estimate.

The fire was reported at about 2:45 p.m. Thursday in a creek bed at San Gabriel Canyon and North Ranch roads.

Dubbed the Ranch 2 Fire, the flames moved northwest into the national forest, toward an area previously burned near the Morris Dam last month, prompting officials to lift mandatory evacuations for Mountain Cove residents Thursday night at 11 p.m.

Air attacks by courageous pilots helped save homes Thursday in Azusa – Photo by Terry Miller

Air attacks including a DC-10 jet, choppers and hundreds of ground crews kept the fire away from homes. The swift, expert coordination of the pilots was applauded by forest officials and credited for saving homes in the Mountain Cove community.

Fire activity was expected to increase Friday as firefighters dealing with a heat wave, with Azusa expecting temperatures in the triple-digits through Monday.

Smoke from the Ranch 2 Fire and Lake Fire prompted the Los Angeles County of Public Health to issue an unhealthy air quality smoke advisory Friday for the Santa Clarita Valley, San Gabriel Mountains, East San Gabriel Valley, West San Gabriel Valley, South San Gabriel Valley and Pomona-Walnut Valley.

As of Friday, the cause of the fire and containment date remain unknown.

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