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California

Monrovia brush fire grows to 10 acres; voluntary evacuations urged

A brush fire in Monrovia has grown to 10 acres and fire personnel are encouraging voluntary evacuations in some neighborhoods, officials said.

The fire started shortly after 11 a.m. in the backyard of a home near Crescent Drive and Madison Avenue, said Jennifer McLain, a city spokeswoman. The fire spread to the hillside behind the residence, she said.

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An evacuation center has been set up at 119 Palm Avenue, she said.

In addition to Monvrovia firefighters, personnel from Pasadena, Montebello, Arcadia, Los Angeles County and the U.S. Forest Service have been dispatched to the scene, she said.

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A shortage of rain this season has produced especially dry conditions that have firefighters on alert for brush fires.

In the hills of Los Angeles County, tests show the brush is drying out at a significantly quicker rate this year because of the lack of rain.

In Ventura County, firefighters say the parched conditions feel like what they typically see in June or July. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which handles fire protection for about a third of the state, said it has dealt with 150 more blazes so far this year compared with 2012.

Cal Fire announced it was deploying fire crews early this year in some areas, including the Inland Empire, because of what it described as “extreme” dry conditions.

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carlos.lozano@latimes.com


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