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Thunderstorms Touch Off Forest Wildfires

A series of brush fires were started by lightning strikes in the San Gabriel Mountain area when unseasonable weather touched down Wednesday. Between 2:30am and 8:00pm Wednesday, the 680,000-acre Angeles National Forest northeast of Los Angeles received approximately 400 lightning strikes, resulting in 16 fires.

Reconnaissance flight completed Thursday morning detected three additional wildfires in the remote parts of the Angeles National Forest, bringing the total number to 19, since 2:30am Wednesday. Of the 19 fires, 12 twelve have been fully contained.

All fires are in the main portion of the San Gabriel Mountains; there are no detectable fires located in the western portion of the Angeles National Forest between Interstate 5 and Highway 14.

Most active is the Twin Fire, burning near Twin Peaks in the central part of the San Gabriel Mountains (well off Hwy 2). Crews have hiked in and are being supported by a water-dropping helicopter. There are no communities threatened or structures lost.

Twelve of the 19 fires currently burning on the Angeles National Forest have reached full containment. The Twin Fire, in the central part of the Forest near Twin Peaks, is burning most actively. A medium helicopter (H-305) has been sent to the Twin Fire to support crews on the ground with water drops. The Roost and Krakta Fires began in this same vicinity off of Hwy 2.

This incident listing includes all 19 fires in the following areas:

On the Los Angeles River Ranger District: West, Krakta, Twin, Wilson, Upper, Ridge, Cienaga and Roost Fires.

On the San Gabriel River Ranger District: Ontario (border w/ San Bernardino NF), Cubbie, Terrebonne (San Dimas), Tanbark and Snow Fires.

On the Santa Clara-Mojave Rivers Ranger District: Panorama, Slope, Juniper, Snag, Lake and Cruthers.

In general, these fires are located in remote, upper elevations of the San Gabriel Mountains north and east of Los Angeles. Each fire is less than 1 acre, with the exception of the Terrebonne (San Dimas) Fire, which is being fought in cooperation with L.A. County Fire.

Access to these fires is generally hike-in only. The terrain is very steep and rugged. There are no communities currently threatened by these fires and no structures have been lost. Some smoke may be visible from populated areas, especially if clouds dissipate in the afternoon.

While not unprecedented, lightning events over multiple days are somewhat rare in the San Gabriel Mountains. Events such as these typically occur in late July to early August. Ninety-one percent (91%) of all fire starts in the Angeles National Forest are human-caused.