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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: 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:

- 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:

- 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.


- 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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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:

- 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

Dropping Fire Retardant

Aircraft dropping fire retardant late Wednesday afternoon. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Coronavirus Count: 709, Up 9 For Week; No New Deaths

Coronavirus cases from LA Department of Public Health as of 8 p.m., 9/8/2020. Changes since 9/2/2020.

City of Monrovia: 709 cases (up 9), 37 deaths (unchanged)
Unincorporated Monrovia: 77 cases (unchanged), no deaths
Glen Park at Monrovia: 2 cases (unchanged), no deaths

- Brad Haugaard

Air Support

Planes are now dumping fire retardant on the south face of the Bobcat Fire. I have observed propeller and jet aircraft, and an LA County Fire helicopter. 

- Brad Haugaard 

BLM Helps Fight Bobcat Fire

Photo taken at the top of Ridgeside Drive, near the entrance to the Wilderness Preserve. 

Monrovia is getting out-of-state help, the Aravaipa Hotshots, a BLM (Bureau of Land Managemeent) team based near Fort Huachuca, Arizona. It is made up mostly of military veterans and provides "a highly skilled, safe, mobile, and professional handcrew for all phases of wildland fire suppression, and all risk assignments."

- Brad Haaugaard