Some Duarte Residents Staying Home Despite Mandatory Evacuation Orders Issued for Fish Fire Burn Area

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Some residents in Duarte have decided to stay put Friday evening, despite the mandatory evacuations in place as a powerful storm barrels across Southern California.

Crews prepare for a storm headed to Duarte. (Credit: KTLA)

Crews prepare for a storm headed to Duarte. (Credit: KTLA)

The City issued a Red Alert beginning at 7 a.m. for areas impacted by the Fish Fire, according to its website. A flash flood warning was in effect in the area until 5:15 p.m., officials reported.

The alert placed 202 homes under mandatory evacuation orders as the storm was expected to bring up to an inch of rain per hour and wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour, according to the City’s website.

Forecasters are calling for between 5 and 10 inches of rain in the mountain and foothill areas across Southern California through Saturday, the National Weather Service stated.

“When we heard ten … that’s a little bit more than what we had before. And the hills are pretty much saturated as they are,” homeowner Carmen Olivas said as she packed her things, including her two small dogs, so she could stay at her son’s house for the next two days.

At about 6 p.m., Duarte was experiencing heavy downpours and mud could be seen flowing in the recent burn areas, where the Fish Fire erupted last June and burned thousands of acres. But some residents told KTLA they felt safe enough to stay put.

"For right now we're staying as long as it feels like we are not in danger," resident James Finlay said. "We have everything in the car packed up and ready to go if it does get bad."1

K-rails are seen ahead of storm expected to hit Duarte on Feb. 17, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

K-rails are seen ahead of storm expected to hit Duarte on Feb. 17, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

The impacted boundaries include Brookridge to the east, Greenbank to the West, Royal Oaks to the South and Brookridge to the North. Twenty-two homes below the Maddock Debris basin were also asked to evacuate.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies went door to door Friday morning alerting residents about the mandatory evacuations. Residents who chose to stay at their homes were asked to sign notifications, city officials said.

An evacuation center will be open at the Duarte Community Center located at 1600 Huntington Drive and will remain open until the mandatory orders are lifted, the website stated. The center is equipped to accommodate up to 40 people overnight.

Los Angeles County Animal Control also has a mobile shelter on site in Duarte for any residents who have animals.

City officials said Burrtec will not be servicing the Fish Fire burn area on Friday, trash will instead be picked up on Monday starting at 7 a.m.

The storm is expected to move out of the region Saturday before a couple of smaller systems possibly bring more rain to Southern California next week.