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Monrovia Optimistic, But Has Fire Evacuation Plan Ready Just in Case

Tan is first evacuation group. Red is second. Details below.

Based on all the latest intelligence information available, officials have identified that there is no direct fire threat to Monrovia at this time.  However, while the City remains cautiously optimistic that the fire will not impact our community moving forward, the flames are moving slowly in a southwesterly pattern, which could eventually impact residents living in the neighborhoods around the northeastern part of Monrovia.  In particular, the residents living in and around the Norumbega Road area are the most likely to be affected.

It is important to note that if City officials determine that the fire could cause any impact on residents or property in Monrovia, we will order mandatory precautionary evacuation procedures for all impacted residents.  Based on the current fire movement pattern, if the precautionary evacuations are ordered, it is estimated that the soonest that such an order would be issued is later this evening.

To that end, all residents living in the northeastern part of Monrovia are encouraged to remain vigilant and ready to be evacuated.  Should an evacuation order be given, we will be coordinating evacuation procedures as follows:

§  First Evacuation Phase – all residents living east of Norumbega (where it parallels Sawpit Wash) and north of Greystone Avenue

§  Second Evacuation Phase – all residents living east of Myrtle Avenue and north of Greystone Avenue, and east of Shamrock and north of Foothill

In addition, the attached map outlines the areas of Monrovia that would be evacuated, and also the evacuation phasing plan.  Also, should an evacuation order be issued, the City has made all of the necessary preparations to establish the Monrovia Community Center (119 West Palm Avenue) as our primary evacuation site. 

With regard to other local fire impacts, fire officials believe that the Fish Fire in Duarte and the Reservoir Fire in Azusa will merge today, and to that end, the overall response to the incident has been combined and the fire will be known as the San Gabriel Complex Fire moving forward.  In total, the San Gabriel Complex Fire has burned around 5,400 acres, and while no structures have been damaged, around 770 homes have been evacuated in Azusa and Duarte.

Firefighting crews made good progress last night containing the portion of the San Gabriel Complex Fire closest to Monrovia.  The weather helped, as a significant marine layer crept into the area last night that helped to put the fire down, and while it is expected that the blaze will become more visible as the day progresses, our reports from the fire command station indicates that as of now, firefighting crews do have a good handle on the situation.

Throughout the day, there will be a significant push by those coordinating the firefighting response to further contain the San Gabriel Complex Fire and push it away from residential areas.  To that end, we have confirmed that the following heavy equipment will be deployed today to fight the fire:

§  5 Type-1 Helicopters
§  6 Type-2 Helicopters
§  10 air tankers (will be put in use as soon as weather conditions permit)
§  2 bulldozers cutting fire breaks in the mountains entered the area through Canyon Park
§  Several hundred firefighters from the US Forest Service and LA County are battling the blaze

However, it is important to note that the current weather forecast calls for a shift in winds at around 3:00 p.m. this afternoon.  This will be an important time for Monrovia, as the changing winds could cause the fire to act unpredictably.

Again, the current situation should allow us to feel cautiously optimistic that Monrovia will not be impacted by the fire, but we are taking all necessary precautions here locally.  In particular, we have recalled all available Monrovia Fire Department personnel and have implemented an operational plan that allows for all normal service delivery to occur, while also setting up the following additional firefighting support functions:

§  Monrovia Fire Department Brush Task Force… this team will be monitoring our highest fire danger zones throughout the day.  This monitoring will take the form of sweeps conducted by Monrovia Fire Department personnel in the north-eastern quadrant of the City, with a special focus on Norumbega Drive, Ridgeside Drive, Oakglade Drive, and Canyon Park.

§  A Special Liaison Team… this team will remain in constant communication with the US Forest Service and L.A. County Fire Department command staff personnel.  This liaison team will be receiving constant real-time updates to monitor the progress of the overall San Gabriel Complex Fire to assess potential impacts on Monrovia.

In addition, the City has continued to maintain the closure of Canyon Park, Trask Boy Scout Camp, and the Hillside Wilderness Preserve, and we have ensured that all City reservoirs are filled at 100% capacity in the event that we need to access water for firefighting activities.

All residents are encouraged to remain vigilant and on alert.  To stay up to date on the status of the overall situation here in Monrovia, we encourage everyone to check the City's website (, or subscribe to Nixle Alerts by texting 91016 to 888777.  We will continue to post updates throughout the day as the local fire conditions change.

Source: Monrovia press release

- Brad Haugaard

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