Forest fires continue to rage, smoke out valleys

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — Thick plumes of smoke towered over the San Gabriel Valley Thursday as firefighters continued to try to contain two wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest.

The fires, on opposite sides of a ridge in the forest, had burned through a combined total of more than 1,900 acres of park land by Thursday afternoon. More than 1,100 emergency responders were in action on the two blazes.

The first of the two fires began about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday north of Asuza in the San Gabriel Canyon and had burned through 1,700 acres of brush with only 10% containment by Wednesday night.

The so-called Morris Fire had expanded to 1,800 aces by Thursday afternoon and was 45% contained, said Robert Brady, a fire information officer for the U.S. Forest Service.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

The second blaze began north of La Cañada near the Glendale (2) Freeway at about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday.

It had expanded to 30 acres and was 20% contained by Thursday afternoon, but appeared to be getting more active, Brady said.

The so-called Station Fire “is being very active, putting up a lot of smoke,” Brady said.

A total of 967 firefighters were at work on the Morris Fire and about 200 had been called into action for the Station Fire, with 15 water-dropping aircraft split between the two blazes, he said.

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