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Weekly Coronavirus Count: 730 Cases, Up 21; No New Deaths

Coronavirus cases from LA Department of Public Health as of 8 p.m., 9/16/2020. Changes since 9/8/2020.

City of Monrovia: 730 cases (up 21), 37 deaths (unchanged)
Unincorporated Monrovia: 80 cases (up 3), no deaths
Glen Park at Monrovia: 2 cases (unchanged), no deaths

- Brad Haugaard

Burned and Unburned


With the air reasonably clear the difference between the burned and unburned areas can be clearly seen. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Police: Shoplifter Waves Machete; Hits Police Car, Runs, Gets Caught; Attempting to Steal from Police Car; Etc.


[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for September 10-16. - Brad Haugaard]


During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 351 service events, resulting in 66 investigations. 

Robbery
September 10 at 9:19 p.m., a robbery was reported at a business in the 1500 block of S. Myrtle. A male suspect entered the business and selected two bottles of wine. He appeared to be standing in line to pay for the items, but then ran out the exit doors. Once outside, he realized he was being chased by an employee. The suspect then retrieved a machete from a suitcase he was holding and waved it several times at the employee. The suspect then fled on foot. Officers arrived and checked the area, but the suspect was not located. This investigation continuing. 

Injury Traffic Collision
September 11 at 6:10 p.m., an officer responded to an injury traffic collision in a business parking lot in the 100 block of W. Foothill. A driver was backing her vehicle out of a parking stall and struck a pedestrian. Officers arrived and saw the pedestrian had sustained abrasions to his right knee and elbow. The pedestrian was treated by paramedics from the Monrovia Fire Department and transported to a local hospital for treatment. 

Hit and Run Traffic Collision
September 12 at 1:46 a.m., a vehicle traveling eastbound through the 100 block of E. Lime struck a parked police vehicle and continued driving away. Shortly after the incident, officers responded to a medical call and found the subject involved in the hit and run. The subject was incoherent and having a medical emergency. He was treated by paramedics from the Monrovia Fire Department and transported to a local hospital. 

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
September 12 at 11:15 a.m., a resident in the 100 block of Melrose reported seeing a male subject stumbling along the sidewalk who appeared to be intoxicated. Officers responded and located the subject at Primrose and Foothill. He had fallen into a bush, picked himself up and fell against a wall. Officers contacted him and found he was so intoxicated he could not care for his own safety. He was arrested for public intoxication and held for a sobering period. 

Battery
September 12 at 3:53 p.m., a battery incident was reported at a business in the 3200 block of S. Peck. The victim reported that he was shopping at a vehicle parts store when he got into an argument with another customer. The argument led to the victim getting struck by the suspect, who fled the area. Officers arrived and searched for the suspect, but could not locate him. This investigation is continuing. 

Public Intoxication – Suspect Arrested
September 12 at 11:06 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of W. Foothill regarding an intoxicated subject harassing customers inside a business. The subject was contacted and found to be too intoxicated to care for his own safety. He was arrested and held for a sobering period. 

Traffic Stop / Pursuit
September 13 at 2:02 a.m., an officer patrolling the area of Mountain and Central saw a vehicle fail to stop for a solid red light. A vehicle traveling north on Mountain had to swerve to avoid colliding with the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle failed to yield as the officer attempted a traffic stop and fled onto the 210 Freeway. California Highway Patrol officers continued pursuing the vehicle. The driver eventually pulled over and fled on foot. This investigation is continuing. 

Mail Tampering
September 13 at 6:42 a.m., officers responded to the 300 block Elfwood regarding suspects tampering with mail. A male and female were seen in a 4-door, white vehicle loitering near the mailboxes. After the subjects left, a resident found mail on the ground next to the mailboxes belonging to residents in El Monte. This investigation is continuing. 

Vehicle Burglary
September 13 at 8:22 a.m., officers responded to the report of a vehicle window smash in the 400 block of W. Duarte. A passerby saw the broken window and called police. The owner of the vehicle said he left a new stereo sitting on the seat in plain view and was going to have it installed today. While he was away from the vehicle, someone smashed the window and took the stereo. The officers saw a couple subjects sitting on a couch in a nearby parking lot. The officers contacted them and noticed the stolen stereo sitting behind the couch. This investigation is continuing. 

Injury Traffic Collision
September 13 at 11:49 p.m., a traffic collision was reported at a parking garage in the 200 block of W. Pomona. A pedestrian was walking inside the parking garage and was struck by a vehicle at slow speed. Officers arrived and determined the pedestrian had sustained minor injuries. The pedestrian was treated by paramedics from the Monrovia Fire Department. 

Commercial Burglary
September 14 at 3:07 a.m., the owner of a business in the 600 block of W. Huntington was contacted by his alarm company advising there was a window break at the location. He logged into his business cameras on his phone and saw a suspect inside stealing lottery tickets. He called police. Officers arrived at the location, but the suspect had already fled the area. This investigation is continuing. 

Theft / Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
September 14 at 3:29 a.m., while officers were handling a call in the 600 block of W. Huntington, a subject waited for officers to walk away from their units. He then reached in and was going through the officer's bags attempting to take items, when another officer coming from the rear happened upon the crime in progress. The suspect was arrested. During a search incident to arrest, he was also found to be in possession of multiple controlled substances. 

Vandalism
September 16 at 12:12 a.m., a witness saw a male subject break a window in the 100 block of E. Colorado and called police. Officers responded, but the suspect had already left the area. This investigation is continuing. 

Theft
September 16 at 2:31 p.m., a business owner in the 100 block of E. Chestnut called to report that sometime during the night someone had stolen a catalytic converter from one of the vehicles parked on his property. Officers arrived and conducted an investigation. This investigation is continuing. 

Theft
September 16 at 3:13 p.m., a theft was reported at a business in the 2600 block of California. A large shipment of E Cigarettes had been set outside the business and was waiting for pickup by a customer, but someone else arrived and took the boxes. Officers arrived and collected video surveillance showing a suspect loading the boxes into his vehicle. This investigation is continuing. 

Burglary
September 16 at 6:09 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 1600 block of S. Mountain. The victim parked his vehicle at 8:30 a.m. that morning and left his vehicle. When he returned at 6:00 p.m., he noticed his trunk had been opened. The door locks had been tampered with and a duffel bag containing baseball equipment had been stolen. This investigation is continuing. 

Lunch at Nano Cafe

Lunch at Nano Cafe, on the north side of Duarte Road just east of Mayflower. The restaurant has lots of shaded outdoor seating. Got the Reuben Sandwich with coleslaw for $12.99 and an iced tea for $2.99. Enjoyed it a lot. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Free Flu Shots at Monrovia Church on Oct. 3

First Evangelical Church, Arcadia - which, despite its name, is in Monrovia - will provide free flu shots on Oct. 3. Details: https://is.gd/8UMmTb

- Brad Haugaard

Neighbors Express Thanks to Firefighters, Police

As you might expect, the neighborhoods of North Canyon Blvd, Ridgeside Dr, and Oakglade Dr., all at the very top of Monrovia, are mighty grateful. The residents expressed their gratitude with these signs, collected into a collage by Scott Morgan, who lives on North Canyon. (Thanks Scott!)

- Brad Haugaard

Mopping Up the Fire - You May See Spots of Smoke or Fire - Not to Worry

City Manager Dylan Feik reports that some firefighters are remaining on the scene to perform mop up operations. "Small pockets of fuel remain in the burn area that will periodically burn out. As these areas burn out, we would like to assure residents that crews are nearby monitoring the situation. Residents can expect to see pockets of smoke from Monrovia Canyon Park during the day and possible small flames at night. Again, these flare ups are in the burn areas and are carefully watched. Throughout the week, the fire line above the Clamshell Truck Trail and along the Spanish Canyon ridge will also be patrolled and monitored. 

"Due to the hot spots that remain in the foothills, the Evacuation Warning remains in effect for residents of Monrovia."

- Brad Haugaard

No School - Virtual or Otherwise - For Rest of This Week - Bad Air

School's out for the rest of the week for Monrovia School District. Bad air. Not even virtual learning from home.

School Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian wrote to parents that, "Given the perilous air quality, we are dismissing students from school through the end of this week. We understand the burden placed upon families during these continued crises and hope that this offers some level of relief.

"To support the health and well-being of our staff members during this time of crisis, we are closing all our facilities through Friday, Sept. 18, and asking all staff members to stay home. Unfortunately, that means that we will not be distributing meals on Friday, as originally scheduled. We apologize for this disruption in service."

Why no distance learning?

School Board President Rob Hammond writes that, " It is the environment the students are learning in. If a classroom were full of smoke and unhealthy to breath in we would not want a student in that environment.  Now the student's home is their classroom.  If the air is not healthy it can cause many disruptions to learning. Frequent headaches, watery eyes,  and a host of respiratory problems all contribute a less than desirable environment whether it is virtual (at home) or on campus. Student safety and welfare will always be our guiding principle.

- Brad Haugaard

Fire Crews Monitoring Hills, City Declares Smoke a Threat

Fire crews will continue to operate on the ridge above Spanish Canyon to ensure that the fire remains contained in the canyon and there are no spot fires, and there will be crews in Monrovia Canyon Park where there are small pockets of brush that may need extra attention, according to City Manager Dylan Feik.

He added, "We do not predict a large amount of fire activities in Monrovia today, however residents may see smoke coming from Monrovia Canyon Park and Spanish Canyon as crews mop up the area."

Also, Monrovia has declared smoke as a dangerous threat, especially for those with preexisting conditions such as chronic heart and lung disease (i.e. asthma, emphysema and COPD).

The city has attempted to purchase air purifiers to loan out to vulnerable people, but they are out of stock and the city has been unable to acquire them. Feik said, "We encourage those who have air conditioning to turn them on and keep windows closed. It is also recommended, for the most vulnerable population, to wear masks indoors."

- Brad Haugaard

Candle of Hope Event Thursday, 7 p.m.



Planned Power Outages Postponed

Power outages planned for this week have been postponed. City Manager Dylan Feik reports that city staff “has coordinated with Southern California Edison (SCE) and outages planned for Wednesday, September 16, will be postponed to a later date. We will continue to coordinate with SCE to postpone the outages planned for Thursday and Friday.”

- Brad Haugaard

Spanish Canyon Controlled Burn Should End Tonight

Forest Service photo.

Angeles National Forest posted this on Facebook:

The strategic firing operation from Trask Camp to Spanish Canyon is almost complete.  Crews will finish the operation by this evening.  This will reinforce an existing handline further protecting the foothill communities.

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia State of the Schools Address Oct. 7

- Brad Haugaard

Spanish Canyon Controlled-Burn Working Well; Bad Liars

I'm guessing, but I'd say those green lines are fire breaks.

City Manager Dylan Feik reports that much of the action today is in saving Mt. Wilson, but in Monrovia, he said, fire crews will continue to control-burn Spanish Canyon. "The team made great progress last night and they will continue in their efforts today," he said.

Feik added that you'll notice an increase in smoke, and if you live around Norumbega you'll see a heavy presence of fire crews there to support the Spanish Canyon operation.

Feik said that at the "Resident Only" roadblock, drivers are being stopped and asked where they live. "I live right there on that corner," was the most common response," one officer said. When the officer asked the name of the street, people just turned around and left.

- Brad Haugaard

Fire Advances to South

These two screenshots were taken yesterday (Sept. 14), and today (Sept. 15). They show how the fire has advanced to the south towards Norumbega and Bradbury, the result of the controlled burn in Spanish Canyon.

- Brad Haugaard 


Fire Moving South; Firefighters Aim to Protect Communities

The Bobcat Fire is coming down Spanish Canyon.

From City Manager Dylan Feik: "With the fire slowly burning down Spanish Canyon towards the Monrovia Canyon Park, the priority will remain to protect the communities south of the fire by continuing strategic firing operations and utilizing fixed wing aircraft. The Spanish Canyon area is thick with heavy brush, tall trees and is located in an area where burning is visible. To combat the fire, dozer lines and retardant were put into place and strike teams are assigned to the ridge line to monitor the fire as it slowly burns downhill. As fire crews are working at the very top of the Spanish Canyon, residents will see an increase in flames, smoke and fire activities.

- Brad Haugaard

Sally: First Place In Loving and Sweet Category


Sally has been described by her foster parent as one of the most loving and sweet dogs you will ever meet. This two-year-old dog is young and likes to play with toys, but most of the time she's very calm and just wants to snuggle up with her head in your lap. She's very well-behaved, does great on walks and in the car, and is even great with kids. Sally has been a wonderful companion and work-from-home buddy for her foster parent during quarantine, and is ready to bring that same energy to a forever home!

The adoption fee for dogs is $140. All dog adoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines.

New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet.

View photos of adoptable pets at pasadenahumane.org and make an appointment for a virtual adoption consultation. Adoptions are by appointment only.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone calls or email.

- Brad Haugaard

Bobcat Slowly Coming Down Spanish Canyon

The fire is slowly coming down Spanish Canyon, underlined in red here. Spanish Canyon empties into the Sawpit Debris Basin at the gate to Canyon Park.

City Manager Dylan Feik Reports:

Along the eastern edge of the Bobcat Fire, there is an active fire pushing up and over the ridgeline near the northeastern corner of Spanish Canyon. As the fire begins to burn, it will back down the canyon in a slow-backing position, similar to what was seen in Monrovia Canyon Park earlier this week. The fire is moving from the eastern ridge of Spanish Canyon and down into the canyon towards the helipad. 

Throughout the day, the Incident Command Team has made the decision to bring in extra aircraft to combat the fire and lay fire retardant along dozer lines surrounding Spanish Canyon. In addition to the aircraft, residents of Monrovia, Duarte and Bradbury will see an increase in smoke, flames and firefighting activities during this time. Please know, the fire is beginning at a point high up the mountain but will be backing downward slowly and in a controlled manner. As we move into the evening, the fire will get closer to the foothill communities. 

- Brad Haugaard

You Can Water Your Lawns Now!

Take a shower, run your sprinklers, wash your clothes. The need for water conservation for fire fighting is over, according to City Manager Dylan Feik.

But... he adds, “We will continue keeping an eye on water supply, quantity and pressure as well.”

- Brad Haugaard 

'Great News,' Firefighters Now Cleaning Up Spot Fires, Checking for Flare-Ups


 City Manager Dylan Feik shared the "great news" that "firefighters are working in the hills to clean up fires, suppress any remaining flames and watch for flares and startups until the hot areas begin to cool."

However, he added, "flares may occur as the hills are still smoking and embers could ignite residual fires. Call 9-1-1 if you see a new fire ignite."

"The evacuation warning remains in effect and residents should remain prepared for evacuation if unexpected weather and fire conditions require."

- Brad Haugaard

Canyon Park and Camp Trask - Brush Burned But Buildings Safe

Meeting Room in Canyon Park.

Road to top of park, and right fork to Camp Trask.

Top of the park.

Camp Trask.

City Manager Dylan Feik reports that firefighters kept the structures in Canyon Park undamaged even if the brush around the buildings is burned out.

He added: "When the Incident Command Team was discussing fire engagement strategies, the City of Monrovia made it clear that Monrovia Canyon Park and the Hillside Wilderness Preserve are community gems and should be protected. We cannot express enough our deep appreciation to the many agencies and crews who fought tirelessly to preserve our Park. Though work is not complete and fire remains in the City, it is a comfort to see progress has been made, fire lines are being held and resources are focusing on the fire area near the Santa Anita Wash in Arcadia. Please remember, conditions may change and fire can always change direction."

- Brad Haugaard

Flame Broiler and Fellowship Monrovia Provide Free Meals for Monrovia Schools Families

Monrovia School Board President Rob Hammond reports that last Friday, almost 500 meals were distributed by Flame Broiler and Fellowship Monrovia to families with children in the district.

A letter from the district says, "We are so grateful for their generosity, as well as the generosity of Fellowship Monrovia.  When we were forced to close our doors, they opened theirs."

The letter adds that, "Tomorrow and Wednesday we will distribute two and three days worth of grab-and-go meals from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at Plymouth Elementary School and Santa Fe Computer Science Magnet School."

Also, Sept. 14-18, any order at Flame Broiler will be half off for MUSD families, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. at the Monrovia location: 446 W. Huntington Dr. #436.  Phone orders will be accepted: (626) 358-8318. Use the code word "hope."

- Brad Haugaard

North Arcadia Ordered Evacuated

The City of Arcadia is ordering all residents north of Elkins Ave. and east of Santa Anita Ave. to evacuate due to dangerous wildfire conditions. A Red Cross Evacuation Center has been established at Santa Anita Race Track. To follow the Arcadia part of the fire, see this website:  ArcadiaCA.gov/Bobcat

- Brad Haugaard

Canyon Park and Trask Still Standing; Defensive Lines Hold; Fire Moves West; Keep Conserving Water


City Manager Dylan Feik reports ...

- Canyon Park facilities (ranger station, cabins, and the Nature Center) are still standing. Trask Boy Scout Camp is also still standing.

- The fire has pushed into the Santa Anita Wash. It is now positioned in a drainage area below Chantry Flats and presents a threat to not only Monrovia, but to Arcadia and Sierra Madre.

- Today's priorities on the south end of the fire are to  prepare defensive lines near the Santa Anita Wash and maintain and reinforce the southern edge in Monrovia, including Canyon Park. This line is holding well, including throughout the night, and Incident Command is maintaining those lines. 

- Lower Clamshell Trail served as a fire break and access road for hot shot crews working on those portions of fire. The fire never reached the trail – which was graded – but burn spots did come very close and portions of the Hillside Wilderness Preserve did burn.

- The city decided 5 or 6 homes at the top of Cloverleaf Drive needed to be evacuated, but when city officials attempted to contact the people, they found the residents had already left.

-  Please continue to conserve water, avoid driving or visiting areas near the active fires or damaged areas, and don't fly drones in the area - it is illegal.

- Brad Haugaard

Use a Drone, Get Arrested; Water Conservation Worked

City Manager Dylan Feik reports that police received two reports of illegal drone activity in the fire area. One person was caught but the other was not. He notes that "drones would 100% ground aerial firefighting operations. Individuals who interfere with wildfire suppression efforts may be subject to civil penalties and criminal prosecution."

Also, he thanked Monrovians for saving water. "Throughout the day, from the time we issued the Emergency Alert to conserve water, Emerson and Canyon water tanks never dropped below 90% capacity….what a miracle! Your efforts helped us ensure that water quantity, supply and pressure never became an issue for our firefighters."

- Brad Haugaard

Bobcat Fire Reaches Chantry Flat Above Arcadia

"The fire reached Santa Anita Canyon near Chantry Flat [above Arcadia] where fire activity will remain high overnight. Priorities remain to hold containment lines and protect the foothill communities as the fire continues to progress south." That according to the Incident Information System: https://is.gd/TNznwt

- Brad Haugaard 

Fire Approaching Homes Off North Canyon; Battling Flames at Camp Trask and Canyon Park

 From this map it appears the defensive line against the fire is the green line and then along Lower Clamshell Trail, to which it connects.

So far the battles to save Camp Trask and Canyon Park have been mostly successful, though the fire has burned around the water falls in the park. Here's what City Manager Dylan Feik had to say:

Last night, two additional City strike teams went up to Trask Boy Scout Camp to assist in the firefighting efforts. The fire approached the Camp through the drainage area below the Camp and so they focused on protecting and preserving Trask. Fire tactics used to combat the fire range from control burning to water suppression. Even before this fire, Trask suffered from water system problems and the firefighters had to rig the pool for additional water supply use to engage the fire. Trask is still there and firefighters thus far have been successful. 

The fire also finally entered Canyon Park and has burned areas including Monrovia Falls. Firefighters are working hard to keep it on the north side of Sam The Damkeeper’s House and also north of the Nature Center. 

The Incident Command Team continues to make contingency plans for the neighborhoods in the far northern reaches of Monrovia (think Briarcliff, Ridgeside, N. Canyon, and Oakglade). The fire has a chance of getting close to Lower Clamshell Trail, possibly homes in the area. But there is also a chance the fire does not. As the Team assesses the fire, conditions and terrain, strike teams, fire engines and even police officers are making contingency plans in case it does get close. They are speaking with residents, discussing possible control burning operations as pictured on the map below [I put it above - Brad] (which many of us know are a tool to “fight fire with fire”) and have staged hoses and fire engines for fire suppression. Please remember, the fire continues to be slow moving but it is, in fact, moving. As of 3:40 p.m., there remains consensus that an Evacuation Warning remains. If residents are concerned or feel the fire is too close, please consider leaving.

- Brad Haugaard

Water Conservation Is Helping Fight Bobcat Fire

City Manager Dylan Feik reports that ...

"Your efforts to conserve water are working...Thank You! Please continue helping in this effort. As of 2:30 p.m., the Emerson and Canyon Water Tanks are both at 90% capacity because of your direct efforts. Keep up the excellent work, advocate for water conservation, and we’ll keep pumping it up there! Continue to keep conserving and as a reminder, you can help conserve water by doing the following: 

"Please do NOT water your lawns, rooftops, or homes. This is not a wind-driven event and embers are not blowing downwind. 

"Conserve water. If residents conserve, we can replenish the tanks faster than without conservation.

"Water movement. The City has planned ahead by designing our water system, a combination of many water storage tanks, pumps and pipe, to move water around where it is needed, including from the water plant up above Canyon Park! Some of you may notice a reduction in water pressure or even, possibly, water quality as we pump across town. This is normal and ok but please just be aware. 

"If an Evacuation Order is issued or if you leave your home, please DO NOT leave your irrigation systems."

- Brad Haugaard

Announcement of School Board Candidacy of Bryan Wong


As a 25 year Monrovia resident, I am excited to run for re-election as a Monrovia Unified School District Governing Board member.  In my 17 years on the Board my focus has been to educate the whole child in Academics, Arts and Athletics by focusing on intellectual growth and respect for all.  Monrovia provides a world class education for world class students.  We are internationally known for our robotics program, nationally known as Clifton is on the Schools to Watch list, we have been awarded 14 Golden Bell awards from the state for excellence in innovative programs and the county has presented us awards in nutrition, physical fitness and our career pathways.  All of these accomplishments plus passing a $45 million high school modernization bond has occurred during my tenure.  But we have so much more to get done! 

Our academics standards and rigor have never been higher.  96% of MHS graduates are pursuing post secondary education.  Monrovia student’s admissions to 4 year universities are at an all time high partially due to our Early College Program that allows students to earn up to 2 years of college credit while in high school.  This saves both time and money.  Lots of money!  At the same time our career Pathways programs and Career Technical Education focuses on the kids that want to go straight into the workplace.  These programs create career opportunities, not just jobs.

I believe the Arts are an integral part of a student’s education. We have art programs in all of the elementary schools in addition to creating the Wildrose School of Creative Arts.  At the high school we have the Humanities Academy, Theater Arts Conservatory plus our drama dept which has won nationally recognized Herman awards for their productions.

Our Athletic program is in a league of its own.  We have won CIF championships in football, baseball and soccer and countless league titles in all sports.  This level of dominance raises our profile for college recruiters that result in numerous scholarships for our students.  We are known to provide excellence on the field and in the class room.

Our past is strong but we are preparing for the future with our Dual Immersion programs, Santa Fe Computer Magnet School, upgraded internet backbone and moving to a 1:1 computer to student ratio.

We have a historic opportunity to eliminate barriers that exist to impede diversity, equity and inclusion.  But we also need to deal with the very real educational challenges from the Covid-19 virus and financial devastation that it brought. Hard decisions will need to be made in the coming year.  Board members need a deep understanding of each program that Monrovia offers and the related finances.  

Experienced Board members have never been more important than they are today.  Follow me on Facebook at Bryan Wong For Monrovia Unified School District.  Please support me with your vote on November 3rd.

Fire Approaches Homes in North Monrovia; Already at Camp Trask, Monrovia Canyon Park

As you can see here, the Bobcat Fire is around Camp Trask Boy Scout Camp, Monrovia Canyon Park, and is very near homes in the northernmost part of the city. Note, however, that the red dots are approximations only accurate to within a kilometer. If you'd like to follow this yourself, see here: https://is.gd/Tmgqfw

- Brad Haugaard

Possible Fire Scam Targeting Monrovians

 

Reader Anna Hetman notes that there may be a possible fire-related scam going around. She writes:

The call came in as Private Caller, so I do not have  the telephone number. The gentleman said he is a Public Adjuster with the AQMD. According to him there will be an Adjuster in our neighborhood to check homes for air quality. I asked for a number in order to confirm that this was not a scam. He wanted to explain it to me, but the more he talked the more I felt, and I told him so, that this was a scam. I called Monrovia Police who told me they can check the air quality outside and not to let anyone in their homes.

- Brad Haugaard

Fire in Canyon Park, Camp Trask


City Manager Dylan Feik  reports that the fire continued is now within Canyon Park and near the Trask Boy Scout Camp. Firefighters are fighting the blaze fire near Trask with hand crews and bulldozer creating defensive lines with Phos-Chek drops around the perimeter. Now that the fire is nearing areas where firefighters will engage, additional crews are being assigned to help, including many from  Monrovia Fire Department.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fire Department Needs Water - Please Use Less!

Message from Monrovia Fire Department:

Please conserve water! The firefighters and strike teams will begin engaging the fire at Canyon Park today. As the firefighting effort includes large, continuous amounts of water usage, they will draw down our City water supply IF we cannot refill.
We need everyone's help and here is a list of ways you can help us fight this fire today –
  • Please do NOT water your lawns, rooftops, or homes. This is not a wind-driven event and embers are not blowing downwind.
  • Conserve water. The City stores millions of gallons of water which is used during the day and replenished constantly. When adding firefighting consumption, the tanks will not replenish as fast. If residents conserve, we can replenish the tanks faster than without conservation.
  • Water movement. The City has planned ahead by designing our water system, a combination of many water storage tanks, pumps and pipe, to move water around where it is needed, including from the water plant up above Canyon Park! We have millions of gallons of water not in use and ready for firefighting efforts so we will begin pumping the water across town to locations closest to hydrants used for the fire. Some of you may notice a reduction in water pressure or even, possibly, water quality as we pump across town.
  • If an Evacuation Order is issued or if you leave your home, please DO NOT leave your irrigation systems, faucets or water spigots on. We need to have water supply available for as long as the fire is present.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Fire Department Overwhelmed By Kindness

Monrovia Fire Department says ...

We are receiving an overwhelming amount of donations at the Monrovia Fire Station. Although we truly appreciate the community’s kindness, the donations are unneeded and we ask the community to please refrain from donating any additional items.

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovians Can Now Divide Their Homes Into Apartments, Build Granny Flats

New state laws have essentially overturned local zoning regulations so now property owners can build additional dwellings in any residentially zoned property or convert space in existing residences into additional dwellings. So what have been called "granny flats" or "backyard cottages" are now legal by state law, and Monrovia is having to accommodate itself to the new rules.

At its next meeting the City Council (agenda: https://is.gd/2bSDmy) will consider adopting rules to bring city regulations into line with state laws regarding ADUs and JADUs.

ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) are essentially granny flats, and JADUs (Junior Accessory Dwelling Units) are smaller living units ranging in size from 220 to 500 square feet that are created by converting living space within an existing single family home.

The city is very limited in the type of restrictions it can put on such dwellings. Public hearings are not allowed, no minimum lot size can be required, no open space requirements, etc.

For example, if a garage is converted into a dwelling the city cannot require replacement parking. Nor can parking be required "if the ADU is within a half mile walking distance of public transit, within an historic district, created through the conversion of part of the primary residence or an accessory structure, in an area where permit parking is not offered to ADU occupants, or if it is within one block of a car share program."

The full staff report is here: https://is.gd/yqZ9Ve

- Brad Haugaard

Relative Danger to Buildings in North Monrovia

This map shows the risk from wildfire to buildings in North Monrovia. The scale is from red (high risk) down to blue (low risk). The red circles are the Bobcat Fire. No real surprise here but interesting. Here's the source: https://is.gd/5crvNW

- Brad Haugaard

Bobcat Crosses Into Monrovia City Limits

City Manager Dylan Feik reports that the fire has officially crossed into city limits, according to recent reports from Unified Command, though it has not yet reached Monrovia Canyon Park. Fire crews are continuing to work on creating fire breaks and utilizing roads to slow the fire's progress. 

- Brad Haugaard

Bobcat Fire Becomes Unwelcome Tourist Attraction

The Bobcat Fire has become an unwelcome tourist attraction, with visitors from as far away as Long Beach and Orange County. Monrovia Police will continue to set up checkpoints to discourage gawkers from impeding evacuation routes. People will be asked to proof of residence to access evacuation zones.

The fire is now about .6 of a mile from the Trask Boy Scout Camp and about 1.3 miles north of Canyon Park.

When air visibility allows, air support will be provided. Otherwise, firefighting efforts will be on the ground.

If you have questions regarding the Bobcat Fire, you can call 256-8246 if you can't find the information you need on the city’s website.

Monrovia Canyon Park and the Hillside Wilderness Preserve will remain closed until further notice and because of bad air the Friday Night Street Fair is cancelled tonight.

Source: https://is.gd/j4Npxs

- Brad Haugaard

Beautiful But Deadly


In looking at the fire at night and thinking how beautiful and yet how deadly it can be I was reminded of something Robert E. Lee said while overseeing the spectacle of the Battle of Fredericksburg: "It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Drivers' Checkpoint - Sobriety Tests and Citations

435 motorists were stopped at a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Saturday night, August 30. Three drivers had sobriety tests conducted to determine their alcohol impairment level, two other drivers were issued citations for driving unlicensed, and one driver was issued a citation for having an open alcoholic beverage in his car. Every driver was given safety information supplied by the Southern California Automobile Club on the dangers of drinking and driving.  

The checkpoint was held on Myrtle Avenue, south of Duarte Road, from 7 p.m. to midnight. 

Checkpoints are hosted on days of the week at specific locations based on a history of crashes and DUI arrests in the area. 

The primary purpose of checkpoints is not to make arrests, but to promote public safety by deterring motorists from driving impaired, and deterring their friends and family from allowing someone to drive impaired. 

As businesses continue to reopen, including bars and restaurants, impaired driving remains a top traffic safety concern.  The Monrovia Police Department will hold another DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Saturday night, September 26. 

Source: Monrovia Police press release

- Brad Haugaard

City Manager: Please Stay Out From Underfoot; Prepping Canyon Park

City Manager Dylan Feik is asking people to stay out of the  area north of Hillcrest/Greystone unless they live there. Too many people are attempting to watch and take pictures, creating a hazard for firefighters and adding stress to residents. Police may be used to prevent non-residents from entering the area.

He said firefighting crews have built defensive lines on the western and southern edges of the fire, located directly above Monrovia. "I just returned from Monrovia Canyon Park and Trask Boy Scout Camp," he said. "Needless to say for this city manager...watching wildfire burn is incredibly unnerving. It is slowly making its way downhill and there are dozens, if not hundreds, of firefighters working tirelessly to prepare. They want the fire to come to them where they are ready to engage."

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Car vs. Tree; Stolen Vehicles; Stolen Vehicles Recovered; Girlfriend Hit With Cell Phone; Drugs and Such

 [Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for September 3-9. - Brad Haugaard]


During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 357 service events, resulting in 73 investigations. 

Traffic Collision / Driving Under the Influence / Weapons Violation – Suspect Arrested
September 3 at 12:27 a.m., a vehicle traveling in the 100 block of S. Mountain collided with a tree. Officers arrived and found the driver to be under the influence of narcotics. The suspect is currently on parole for robbery and was arrested for driving under the influence. His vehicle was searched and a magazine loaded with 9mm ammunition was found, which was added to his charges. 

Theft
September 3 at 8:17 a.m., an employee of a business in the 1400 block of S. Shamrock attempted to start a company vehicle and discovered someone had taken the battery. Officers arrived and conducted an investigation. This investigation is continuing. 

Vehicle Burglary
September 3 at 12:03 p.m., a resident in the 100 block of Hidden Valley reported their vehicle had been burglarized sometime over the past weekend. When she discovered the theft Monday morning, she noticed personal items had been stolen from inside her vehicle. This investigation is continuing. 

Grand Theft Auto
September 3 at 4:54 p.m., the owner of a business in the 400 block of W. Foothill called police to report someone had stolen his vehicle sometime after he parked it at 3:45 p.m. The vehicle is a white, 1994, Toyota pickup truck. The vehicle was entered into the stolen vehicle system. This investigation is continuing. 

Theft From a Vehicle
September 4 at 7:32 a.m., a resident in the 1200 block of Encino walked outside his home and discovered someone had rummaged through his unlocked vehicle sometime during the night. Several items were taken, including his wallet and credit cards. This investigation is continuing. 

Domestic Violence – Suspect Arrested
September 4 at 8:20 a.m., a domestic violence incident was reported at a parking lot in the 700 block of E. Huntington. The victim reported that his boyfriend of three years had just hit him multiple times causing injuries. Officers and paramedics responded and after an investigation, the suspect was arrested for domestic violence. The victim was treated by paramedics for his injuries. 

Stolen Vehicle Recovered
September 4 at 12:30 p.m., a subject called police to report seeing his friend's stolen pickup truck parked in the Los Angeles County area of Monrovia at Brisbane and Myrtle. Officers responded and recovered the pickup truck. The owner was notified and the truck was returned to him. This investigation is continuing. 

Grand Theft Auto / Stolen Vehicle Recovered
September 4 at 8:04 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a business parking lot in the 400 block of W. Huntington. The victim reported his vehicle was stolen while he was inside a business. Officers arrived and conducted an investigation. A possible suspect was seen on security camera video. About 30 minutes later, officers on patrol saw the vehicle in the 100 block of W. Lemon. A traffic stop was conducted, and the driver fled from the vehicle and ran through nearby residences. A search was conducted, but the suspect was not located. This investigation is continuing. 

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
September 4 at 11:51 p.m., an officer patrolling the 100 block of E. Olive saw a vehicle drive through a stop sign. He conducted a traffic stop and noticed the driver showed symptoms of intoxication. A DUI investigation was conducted and confirmed the driver was intoxicated. The driver was arrested and held for a sobering period. 

Shoplifting
September 5 at 3:45 p.m., a security officer for a hardware store in the 1600 block of S. Mountain reported a male subject just left the store with merchandise without paying. Officers responded and searched for the subject, but could not locate him. This investigation is continuing. 

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
September 5 at 10:58 p.m., officers responded to a grocery store in the 100 block of W. Foothill regarding a shoplifting incident in progress. When contacted by officers, the suspect returned the concealed items and the grocery store declined prosecution for the theft. During the investigation, the suspect was found to have an active warrant for his arrest, and he was also found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. The suspect was arrested. 

Evading / Driving Without a License – Suspect Arrested
September 7 at 12:30 a.m., an officer on patrol near the intersection of Foothill and Canyon saw a vehicle traveling south on California with no lights. The officer initiated a traffic stop and the vehicle fled, running through several stop signs and a red light at a high rate of speed. The vehicle lost control and came to a stop on Foothill at Canyon. The driver was arrested for evading and driving without a license. 

Theft
September 7 at 7:29 p.m., a resident called police to report two bicycles had been stolen from the front porch of her home in the 200 block of W. Lime. Officers arrived and determined the theft occurred at 2:30 a.m. The victims Ring camera captured video footage of the suspect. This investigation is continuing. 

Trespassing – Suspect Arrested
September 8 at 1:04 a.m., a resident in the 100 block of Highland called police to report her ex-boyfriend was on her property, knocking on her back door. Officers arrived and were unable to locate him. Several hours later he returned to the home. The resident had the suspect on video. The investigation revealed he had been advised he was not welcome at the location and was issued a no trespass notification. Officers contacted the suspect and arrested him for the trespassing violation. 

Domestic Violence – Suspect Arrested
September 8 at 10:43 a.m., officers responded to a motel in the 900 block of E. Huntington regarding a male and female arguing in one of the rooms. When officers arrived, the female claimed her boyfriend hit her with his cell phone and kicked her during an argument. She also told officers he beat her up in Riverside the week before. She had visible injuries from being hit with the cell phone. Officers arrested the boyfriend for domestic violence and he was taken into custody. 

Trespassing / Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
September 8 at 10:34 p.m., a subject was seen on surveillance cameras trespassing inside a business property in the 1400 block of S. Mountain. Officers arrived and detained the suspect, who was also found to be in possession of multiple controlled substances. The suspect was arrested. 

Grand Theft Auto / Burglary
September 9 at 7:37 a.m., officers responded to the 1800 block of Eighth Avenue regarding the report of a stolen vehicle. The victim parked his vehicle in the secure underground garage for his apartment the day prior. An investigation revealed the suspects also pried open eight garage storage cabinets and stole a computer. This investigation is continuing. 

Vandalism
September 9 at 9:43 a.m., a bank in the 100 block of W. Foothill reported a broken window on the east side of their building. The break was not large enough for anyone to gain entry. Officers arrived and saw there was a piece of broken clay pottery on the ground, which appeared to have been used to damage the window. This investigation is continuing. 

Wind Is Cooperating


The wind, shown by the little green stripes, is behaving nicely, flowing towards the north/northeast at 10 mph or less. This is from CalTopo. If you'd like to track this yourself, go here: https://is.gd/nIZPxe

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch from La Noria

Got lunch today from La Noria, formerly Los Victors, a Mexican food stand at the corner of Foothill and May. I got two mini chicken tacos for 99 cents each. They came with a pepper (very hot) and some nice crisp chips. Good tacos and very good price. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Firefighters Build Defensive Lines on Western and Southern Edges of Bobcat Fire - Emphasis Shifts East to Highway 39

From City Manager Dylan Feik:

"Overnight, the Bobcat Fire continues to grow, moving in a northeasterly direction but is also slowly burning towards the west. As the foothill area above Monrovia has not seen a fire in over 60 years, residents will notice that at certain times the fire will be more visible, especially when brush catches fire for the first time in 60 years or more. The fire will continue to be visible from the City with plumes of smoke during the day. Firefighting crews have spent considerable time building defensive lines on the western and southern edges of the fire. Now, efforts are being focused on the east and northeastern edges of the fire. The goal is to keep the fire from jumping Highway 39. 

"Please note...the fire is burning at a high elevation, with fuels that historically have not burned, and is surrounded by defensible space, dozer lines, and even recently burned areas from fires in the past 3-4 years. The area will likely burn for several weeks until it is fully extinguished by crews."

- Brad Haugaard


City Manager: Today's Air Support; Northward Winds (Hopefully) Coming Up

Notice the fire break is red. I think the planes are enhancing the fire breaks' fire-stopping ability.

 Notice the plane is following white smoke lines put down (I think) by the smaller guide plane.

Great photos courtesy of Sam Kurutz.

City Manager Dylan Feik reports that "two air tankers were able to make several drops of fire retardant (which we call "Phos-Chek" and is pronounced "fozz-check") on the southwest portion of the fire, which is right above Monrovia, to reinforce and strengthen previously applied fire lines. Additionally, several more resources arrived at the fire late in the day, including a sky crane helicopter and two more hotshot crews."

"Overnight, fire personnel will continue to monitor the fire's behavior and growth. One important term I learned today is that we have planned for a wind-driven fire, but we are observing a terrain-driven fire. For example, last night, the Santa Ana winds were forecast to push the fire southwest toward Monrovia. The fire moved east and northeast. As we wrap up the Red Flag Warning which ended at 8:00 p.m. this evening, winds are forecast to begin blowing northward which is a positive for us."

- Brad Haugaard

Painting the Mountains Red

Many thanks to Shane Nichols for sharing these photographs of a jet dropping red fire retardant along a firebreak in the mountains above Monrovia. The plane is flying downhill.




- Brad Haugaard