Firefighters halted forward progress on a brush fire that broke out in the Whittier Narrows area just north of Pico Rivera Friday afternoon, officials said.
The blaze, dubbed the Rosemead Fire, initially covered about 3 acres in the Whittier Narrows wash near the corner of Rosemead Boulevard and Gallatin Road when crews responded around 1:45 p.m., the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
By 4:15 p.m., the flames had charred 20 acres, and around 6 p.m. officials said it was estimated at 52 acres. They were spreading northeast in medium-to-heavy brush, firefighters said.
“That is just a lot of really, really dry brush that hasn’t burned in a long time, so it’s just a lot of fuel,” said L.A. County Fire Department spokesman Jonathan Matheny.
Crews were able to gain the upper hand because they attacked the fire with a lot of resources, especially aircraft, very quickly, Matheny said.
The following road closures were in place as of 4:40 p.m.: Rosemead Boulevard between Durfee Avenue and Beverly Boulevard, Lincoln Avenue between San Gabriel Boulevard and Avenida De La Merced, and San Gabriel Boulevard between Santa Anita and Lincoln avenues.
Aerial video from Sky5 showed the Rosemead Fire was emitting a large amount of smoke, on the second day of dimmed skies in Southern California due to smoke from wildfires in the northern and central parts of the state.
The temperature in the area where the flames were burning reached 78-80 degrees Friday, with southwest winds blowing at 6-12 mph and a relative humidity of 45-50%, according to the National Weather Service.
The conditions were improved from when NWS warned of critical fire weather in the area earlier this week through Wednesday, when temperatures were higher and relative humidity lower.
Two blazes broke out near homes in Southern California amid the dangerous conditions Wednesday: the University Fire that ultimately burned 75 acres in San Bernardino and the Jeffrey Fire in Chatsworth that was held at less than 9 acres.
Check back for updates on this developing story.