Two fires erupted just a few miles apart near Southern California’s Angeles National Forest on Monday, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of Los Angeles County residents. The fires, collectively dubbed the San Gabriel Complex Fire, raged unchecked across more than 5,000 acres of parched canyons and foothills throughout Monday night and Tuesday.
The first of the twin blazes, named the Reservoir Fire, was ignited on Monday morning around 11 a.m., when a car went off the road and plummeted to the bottom of a canyon near the Morris Reservoir, where it ignited. The second fire, the Fish Fire, erupted about an hour later a few miles away, cause unknown.
As of Wednesday morning, 48 hours after the first fire erupted, the San Gabriel Complex Fire has been just 10 percent contained, local news sources report. Smoke from the San Gabriel Complex Fire was visible across Los Angeles, as far as south L.A. Local authorities issued air pollution warnings throughout the San Gabriel and San Bernadino areas.
Meanwhile, two hours north of L.A., firefighters continued battling a weeklong, 8,000-acre wildfire near Santa Barbara. To the south, San Diego’s Border Fire is entering its fourth day. Years of drought and a scorching heatwave throughout the region early this week created a veritable tinderbox for the blazes, and climate change is only making things worse. In total, Cal Fire reported on Tuesday that 4,700 firefighters were battling six wildfires across the state.