Fire in Wrightwood explodes to 775 acres as another blaze spreads in San Gabriel foothills

Firefighters amid wildfire smoke
Fire crews battle a blaze in Duarte that had little containment as of Sunday evening.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Brush fires broke out in and around the San Gabriel Mountains this weekend, first in Wrightwood and later in Duarte as warm weather gripped the Southland, fire authorities said.

The blaze in Wrightwood, which began Saturday, exploded from 45 to 775 acres between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, according to Angeles National Forest officials. There was a mandatory evacuation order for Desert Front Road and Wild Horse Canyon in Wrightwood, and the rest of the town was under an evacuation warning, officials said.

The fire was 5% contained. The road from Highway 138 to Highway 2 was closed, and an evacuation center has been set up at Serrano High School in Phelan.


The fire in Duarte was first reported at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at Brookridge & Mel Canyon roads. By 7 p.m., the fire was holding stable at 25 to 30 acres, 20% contained and moving away from structures. No one had been hurt, and no homes were threatened at that time.

The causes of the fires are under investigation.

Fire conditions were elevated in Southern California on Sunday because of warm and dry weather, but winds were fairly mild, said Kristen Stewart, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Monday is expected to cool down considerably, Stewart said, though gusty northerly winds are forecast to kick up in the evening. But the heat wave will begin to rebound Tuesday and peak midweek, with forecasted highs in the 90s and 100s in the San Fernando Valley on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Fire risk will be elevated at certain times this week, but we’re not putting out red flag warnings at this time,” Stewart said.