A fire tractor digs a trench to slow down the fire raging in Monrovia near homes April 20, 2013. Firefighting airplanes were called in to protect homes on the northwestern side of Monrovia today, as a brushfire covering 18 acres sent a huge cloud into the sky just 1-1/2 miles from a big crowd at Santa Anita Race Track. Twenty-five fire trucks, about 125 firefighters and several helicopters were working to protect homes on the urban boundary in the wildlands of the steep San Gabriel Mountain foothills, adjacent to subdivisions and hillside homes in Arcadia and Monrovia, Monrovia fire chief Chris Donovan said. At 2 p.m., Monrovia firefighters began evacuating several neighborhoods, including the Heather Heights, Alta Vista, Melrose, Patricia Way, Hidden Valley, Mesa Circle and Sky Way areas. The fire chief said winds were light, but those winds normally shift direction in the afternoons in the foothills, and 15 additional engines were being called in for structure protection. Residents were being sent to a shelter at the Monrovia Public Library, at Myrtle and Palm avenues.
Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times
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