Fork Fire Burns 60 Acres at San Gabriel Canyon, Forces Evacuations and Highway Closure

A fire burning at San Gabriel Canyon on Sunday forced the evacuation of visitors at the popular recreation area and the closure of Highway 39.

Flames broke out just before noon above Azusa near Highway 39 and East Fork Road and have so far scorched 60 acres, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy said.

Although the blaze, dubbed the Fork Fire, has stopped spreading by around 5:20 p.m., authorities said containment remained at 0 percent.

Authorities shut down the highway two miles above Sierra Madre Boulevard and urged the public to stay away.

A man named Bill Espino said he and his family came to the area at around 12:30 p.m. when they saw firefighters blocking the road. He said some members of his family were stuck above where the fire was burning.

“We’re just worried about our family...They're in the hot zone I guess," Espino said. "We haven’t been able to contact them."

Judy said although the blaze was "not too bad," some power lines have been affected and winds were causing some concern.

The fire was moving north to northeast, and authorities have deployed air tankers in addition to ground crews, Judy said.

He added that Highway 39 would likely be closed for the rest of the day to clear the area for firefighters.

Up north in the Antelope Valley, crews have stopped the 170-acre Fairmont Fire from growing, according to the L.A. County Fire Department.  No evacuation orders were issued in that incident.