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San Gabriel Canyon shut down by 4,000-acre Williams Fire!

A brush fire that has reached 4,000 acres continued to burn today in the Angeles National Forest just north of Azusa, California. The fire forced officials to close the San Gabriel Canyon road (California State Route 39) to visitors this Labor Day Weekend. The fire has been designated the “Williams Fire,” and, as of this morning, the fire was only 5% contained.

Approximately 400 firefighters from a variety of agencies that are fighting the fire are assisted by at least six helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

Around 50 residents and 1,000 campers from three campgrounds were evacuated, including Camp Williams and the River Community rehab treatment center. The American Red Cross opened a shelter at Glendora High School at 1600 East Foothill Boulevard in Glendora.

The fire is moving north toward the Sheep Mountain Wilderness Area. Temperatures today were expected to be around 100 degrees F on the fire line, with hot, up-slope winds gusting to 20-25 miles/hour this afternoon. The fire started on Sunday just before 2:15 PM approximately 3 miles east of highway 39, midway between Camp Williams and Burro Canyon Shooting Park.

The area has not burned since 2003. Highway 39 was shut down from Crystal Lake Road to the 210 Freeway. Four firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion, but there were no other reports of injuries or any property damage.

-Bill at

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