A pair of wildfires raged through Los Angeles amidst blistering temperatures, burning down more than 3,500 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains this week
The first and largest of the two blazes, named the “Reservoir Fire,” reportedly started as result of a fatal car crash. The vehicle ran off Highway 39 near the Morris Reservoir dam north of Azusa, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The second wildfire — dubbed the "Fish Fire" — burned near Duarte. Homes along Brookridge Road were evacuated, city officials stated on Twitter.
@ABC7 should've been at my house when the fire began😴— Cristian (@_mrcristian_) June 20, 2016
LA Times reports the fires left little time for residents in the affected areas to flee.
"I saw flames about 25 feet in front of me," 59-year-old Valerie Kiernicki told the Times. “The flames were right there. Smoke was going up, and when the ash landed, I didn't want to be standing there."
Around 685 homes were evacuated in both fires. Neither fire was contained as of Monday mid-afternoon.
"Temperatures in Azusa, California, are around 110 degrees this afternoon. In addition, sustained winds are 10-15 mph with gusts 20-25 mph," weather.com meteorologist Brian Donegan said. "Both the heat and the breeze are helping spread the fire. Gusts could still be around 15 mph overnight, but tomorrow the winds should diminish to 5-10 mph."
The wildfires erupted as California enters the fifth year of a statewide drought and Southern California experienced the hottest day of an ongoing blistering heat wave.