Madre Fire Burns 250 Acres Near Azusa; 70% Contained

Firefighters on Tuesday continued to battle a fire that had burned 250 acres  and threatened homes north of Azusa, authorities said.

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Crews made good progress on the Madre Fire Tuesday, authorities said. (credit: Angeles National Forest)

The so-called Madre Fire was 70 percent contained by Tuesday afternoon, according to a tweet from the U.S. Forest Service. The fire started about 6 p.m. Monday in the Angeles National Forest above Azusa.

Two firefighters received minor injuries, according to a tweet from the department.

The blaze briefly threatened 25 homes in the Mountain Cove neighborhood where evacuations were in effect, county fire officials said. Three of the homes in the community were under mandatory evacuation orders, while the rest were under a voluntary order, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Jaime Moore.

Mountain Cove residents said they had packed valuables and were prepared to leave if necessary.

“It was kind of harrowing last night,” said Mountain Cove resident Andrea Cunningham. “I saw the whole hill ablaze.”

About 200 firefighters were working the blaze, along with 13 helicopters, Moore said just before 9 a.m. Tuesday.

“The firefighters have done a really amazing job,” Cunninham said.

Firefighters were working in conditions where winds were about 12 mph with gusts of up to 20 mph, Moore said. The blaze had been moving away from homes, fire officials had said earlier Tuesday, but the wind could change the fire’s direction later in the day, Moore said.

A smoke advisory was issued for the region by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which said air quality could be unhealthy in portions of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains, and the eastern and parts of the western San Gabriel Valley.

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Smoke continued to rise from the Madre Fire in the Angeles National Forest Tuesday morning.

Eighteen schools were ordered to keep children inside Tuesday, according to the Azusa Unified School District. And the Glendora High School football team practiced indoors on Tuesday afternoon.

State Route 39, also knowns as San Gabriel Canyon Road, was open to residents only above Sierra Madre Avenue, according to the Forest Service.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, the Forest Service said. Full containment was expected by Friday.

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